The House. Richard Quinn AW20

I want it to be London-centric, but looking out towards the world,Richard Quinn declared after his autumn-winter 2020 show. The set – a house facade with his name above the door – was right there. And then the doors opened and the inhabitants, smothered head to foot in crystal and pearl from gimp masks to shoes, began to walk out. The first two were a bedazzling haute-couture beaded sublimation of a London king and queen. GOD SAVE THE QUIN was embroidered amongst their insanely armored finery. Yes, Quinn debuted menswear. That was a surprise. “If we’re building a house, we need men and women in it,” said Quinn. “I’m imagining a house with rooms that have all these different people living in these interiors, whether they’re the harsh, dark and sexy S&M ones, or the more romantic ones.” The idea – and a very Yves-Saint-Laurent-meets-Christian-Lacroix execution – feels appealing. But I just can’t get why Quinn, whose label is so young, does nearly the same thing over and over again. I understand that he wants to establish the brand’s codes, but isn’t it too early to be so retrospective? The dresses come in identical silhouettes every season, while his prints – which are also his house-made signature! – always end on big florals. He’s a big talent, but I really want to see his creativity go elsewhere from time to time.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Spectacle. Richard Quinn SS20

Richard Quinn‘s spring-summer 2020 collection was LFW’s theatrical finale that consisted of extremely dramatic gowns, Erin O’Connor’s appearance, and even more of signature floral prints the designer is so loved for. Quinn’s show also featured a gaggle of schoolgirls adorned in fantastical white feathers. The baby-birds walked the runway alongside a matching bridal look (Richard’s new venture) at the show’s close. The designer’s aim was for the show to be “a fashion sanctuary, where we can all come and celebrate”. While majority of the looks felt like a grand déjà vu of his previous collections, the entire spectacle was impressive. But then, do we need constant newness from designers like Quinn, who already have their well-established style and continue to thrive?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

It’s a Ball. Richard Quinn AW19

Since the Queen herself took a seat front row at Richard Quinn’s show exactly a year ago, the designer’s show is a must-see show in London, that’s for sure. While the majority of the looks were all about Quinn’s signature, bold floral prints, the first looks were coats in tartan plaid and houndstooth – nothing more British than that. But then, when you go through the next looks, you might realise they don’t differ strongly from this what we’ve seen in the last seasons from Richard. What seemed to be a novelty was black latex, used for long gloves and tights that peaked from underneath the over-sized ball dresses and equally voluminous lady-like coats. I thought it looked restricting and uncomfortable on the models, through. Couture touches are Quinn’s specialty: black tulle went with gorgeously embroidered dresses and the feathered ‘hoods’ that closed the show were the ultimate highlights. Still, hope to see the designer slightly change his repertoire next season, as he gets repetitive.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Drama. Richard Quinn SS19


Although the Queen didn’t attend Richard Quinn’s show this season, the front row at his spring-summer 2019 presentation sparked interest. Art students from Quinn’s high school in London and Central Saint Martins, where he earned his degree, were all here, absolutely stunned and impressed by the British designer’s creations. In recent years, arts programs have been dramatically underfunded in British schools, and this was Quinn’s admirable way of drawing attention to that problem (cutting out art programs is a short-sighted action – it’s the fashion industry, for example, that plays as a very profitable export for Great Britain). Speaking of Quinn’s collection. ‘Dramatic’ is the word that fits it perfectly. Models in velvet ski masks opened the show in black tutus and heels, with a storm clouds projection in the background. Three looks in, and we’ve got 50s cocktail dresses in the boldest florals, gowns with feather trimmings and meticulously embroidered pyjamas. That major sequin work is just ‘wow’. The leopard print that appeared on the ladylike coats and drop-waisted frocks in the end brought the collection proper spice. Quinn conquers the evening-wear niche, that’s for sure. And proves he’s not a one-season wonder.


Collage by Edward Kanarecki.