The Right Way: Riyka

April 29, 2015
The Right Way: Riyka
For SS15, Riyka have taken their signature geometric panelling and added an infusion of fresh, zesty colours. ‘The collection takes its cues from ‘Rockers’, a documentary/film set in 1970s Jamaica. The atmosphere, colours, and the athletic aesthetic of Kingston’s reggae artists were a jumping board for this season’. A look through stills from the film reveal the elements which Riyka have taken, woven together, and refined to create their latest collection. Contrast piping, drawstring waistlines, and velour point the full tracksuits that stand out amongst the flared denim, sharp jackets, and fitted shirts, whilst the introduction of sky blues and citrus-y greens and yellows reflects not only the vibrancy of the cast’s outfits throughout the film, but that of the culture, the spirit and the music. (Also, just look at that panelled t-shirt on the right of the first photograph and tell me that doesn’t look like it’s come straight from the Riyka studio!).
Riyka aren’t swayed by trends, and don’t create collections that focus on the latest silhouette or must have item; instead they side step the whims and impulses that tend to define (and, more importantly, date) each season to concentrate on following their own message of comfort, quality, and sustainability. It’s easy to be unintentionally influenced by trends, so designing garments that do not betray their season is quite the opposite, but Riyka are steadfast in their approach to designing for life, not for seasons. By creating clothes that will survive the coming and going of trends, Riyka avoid falling into the fast fashion cycle. There’s no need to second guess their next step or distance themselves from previous collections in order to push their current one. A piece from AW12 will hold its own next to one from SS15 because each collection feels like a natural progression from the last. 

Sportswear inspired shapes remain at the heart of this season’s offering, but are softened with light linen, organdie, and organic velour. Cuts are kept simple but the bold, contrast panelling and chunky hardware mean each piece makes its own statement; no layering or ‘dressing up’ needed. Easy dressing as its best. Riyka’s quest for sustainability doesn’t end with designing garments with longevity in mind. They are careful to work with organic, fairtrade and recycled materials wherever possible and, additionally, have teamed up with two charities in order to minimise waste and make the most of their fabric scraps. There is complete transparency where their production is concerned – they know where their clothes are made and who made them. Riyka are not only doing things their own way, they’re doing it the right way.

Lookbook images courtesy of Riyka. Photography: Anya Holdstock

Read more about Riyka’s use of end waste material in Design Without Sacrifice.

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