Richard Quinn Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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“We print everything in house. We cut everything in house. Yes, the beading is done elsewhere, but everything is made in house.” So said Richard Quinn immediately after a show whose freshly-carpeted salon venue at the Andaz London was swathed in 900 square meters of his signature floral fabric. That fabric, he added, had already been sold to a retailer: “nothing gets wasted.”

While London’s womenswear fashion schedule teems with downtown radicals, it is not overly populated by uptown conservatives: Quinn is apparently thriving in that underpopulated niche. Armed with the priceless endorsement of being the inaugural winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, plus his considerable talents, he has built a mostly vertical business dedicated to serving an affluent, often transnational clientele that might not otherwise have many establishment-facing London designers to grace with their custom.

Call it demi-couture, or call it good old-fashioned dressmaking: either apply. Around a quarter of this collection was bridal, a symphony of full skirted, embellished-bodice, tulle-shrouded parent-bankrupters in variations of ivory. There was a significant opening suite of gowns and not-quite catsuits that riffed, as Saint Laurent once pioneered, on traditional menswear evening wear. Those not-quite catsuits, hung with shivering arced tiers of beaded thread, featured ruffled bibs; alongside the traditionally Quinn-y floral catsuits worn under feather-hemmed flowing trains they conjured a sort of luxury glam rock vibe. Dresses gridded with crystal lattice or peppered with tiny sequin flowers were recognizable riffs on event dressing standards delivered with flair and care, and which passed regally by despite the occasional destabilizing disagreement between heel, hem, and carpet.

By the end that freshly laid flooring was lined with tracks of errant ostrich feathers. The applause was thunderous and many amongst the watching coterie of clearly-clients pointed at pieces passing them during the finale with obvious intent. Afterwards during that chat, Quinn said that often his commissions come in two sizes: one for mother and the other for daughter. This fact had catalyzed the central thrust of today’s show. “It’s: what would a mother pass on to her daughter? It was kind of reacting against the idea of brands, logos, and hype, and the idea of constantly looking for newness in radical ways. [Instead] it was what we’re about; working with the client, understanding what sells, but also showing what we feel could go from a mother to a daughter. Clothes to be cherished forever, basically.”

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