On Tuesday evening, Richard Quinn closed London Fashion Week on a melancholy note.
In 2018, the late Queen Elizabeth II sat front row (on her signature blue padded cushion) at his debut runway show, so it was no surprise that his Spring/Summer ’23 collection was dedicated to her her, saying she touched him “as well as many others with her grace and kindness”.
While the Mortal coil is sorrowful The Siren’s Song played, models dressed in black, some in floor-length lace veils, others in birdcage-length veils and beaded tiaras slowly walked around the circular runway.
In the middle was an installation of hundreds of CCTV cameras and several televisions, playing archive footage of the Queen.
After hearing the news that the monarch had died, Quinn said he took a moment to pause before doing a 360 on the existing collection.
He and his team had created the 23 black looks in just ten days, working through the night and sewing while watching the funeral.
Inspiration came from images including those of Queen Victoria, who wore black for half of her life after the death of her husband Prince Albert, along with veils worn by the late Queen and her sister Princess Margaret at funerals of their father in 1952.
Sourcing materials from local shops near his studio in Peckham, south London, Quinn explored new fabrics, silhouettes and techniques. Embroidery was layered over French lace, while some bulbous looks he described as “spacey” featured sequins and tiny feathers.
There were plenty of Quinn-branded details, such as latex leggings, this time in mint green, powder white and inky black, which were paired with everything from cape coats to ruffled mini dresses . Giant corsages pinned to the jacket hid the models’ faces, a new spin on his usual masks and face shields. And of course there were plenty of colorful floral prints. This season they ranged from blue roses to small buds.
Although Quinn only launched his eponymous label in 2016, he continues to gain traction in the international fashion world. The late monarch’s appearance in his 2018 show, where she later presented him with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, catapulted him to fame. It was further thrust into the spotlight when human rights lawyer Amal Clooney wore a custom dress in 2018. Heavenly Bodies With Gala.
A year later, model and reality TV star Kendall Jenner chose a full rose print floral dress with a black latex neckline for an appearance at the 2019 Emmy Awards. He also counts Priyanka Chopra, Kylie Minogue and Nicola Coughlan as fans. The Bridgerton star sat front row on Tuesday night wearing a gorgeous yellow and purple floral print cape dress. She told the Guardian: “He’s so great at pushing boundaries. His pieces are fun, absurd and truly theatrical. Why not have fun?”
This month, legendary American designer Tommy Hilfiger tapped Quinn to collaborate with him on a capsule collection. She was unveiled on Sunday during New York Fashion Week in a star-studded runway show. Various jackets, sleeved shirts and oversized puffer jackets were all given Quinn’s signature floral treatment. Speaking of cooperation with Fashionista Hilfiger spoke of Quinn’s talent saying, “I’m always inspired by the next generation – they have a pulse on trends and innovation that’s creative and exciting.”
Quinn wasn’t the only one to pay tribute to the late monarch during LFW. Falling during a period of national mourning, guests at Daniel W Fletcher observed a minute’s silence, at Halpern a model in a cornflower blue petticoat with a knotted silk scarf under her chin opened the show, while the finale at Harris featured a bride carrying a bouquet of Lily of the Valley, a nod to Her Majesty’s favorite flower.
Reflecting on her legacy post, showrunner Quinn described the late queen as: “100 percent a fashion icon. Even from her silhouette you knew exactly who she was. I feel like that book is closed now.”