Climbing Family was Patrick’s first collection to be shown at London Fashion Week. The collection is based around a trip Patrick’s father took when Patrick was six, where he summited Mont Blanc. Playing with the idea of his mother and himself joining his father on the expedition, this collection envisions the designer as a six year old wearing an oversized climbing jacket and his glamorous mother wearing her floor length red dress hiking in the snow, chalking her hands from a Swarovski crystal chalk bag.
In a commentary of the relationship between a gay son has with his father, Patrick claims the hyper masculine aspects of mountaineering equipment and ‘queers’ it. Each style is made from repurposed Burberry fabrics and Swarovski crystals, ensuring a commitment to sustainable design with moral practice. This collection was available to rent only - McDowell believes it is a modern fashion designers’ role to design not only the clothes but the systems they sit within.