From kids in couture duckling costumes to the Philharmonia orchestra and a bridal debut, we decode the show of LFW.
Since founding his label in 2016, Richard Quinn’s shows have become the must-see on the London Fashion Week schedule. Three seasons ago, HRH The Queen of England was in attendance, sitting front row on her own special cushion — she afterwards presented Quinn with an award. Every season since, Quinn — whose studio operates out of the arches in Peckham — ups the ante and the performance stakes. Spring/Summer 2020 was no exception.
The designer has become synonymous with a sense of escapism. And this time, Quinn’s fantasy-land was palpable: he turned a sports hall normally used for boxing into a wonderland — one that felt as if it was conjured straight from a storybook. In among the news headlines around the world at the moment, but especially in Britain, such a parallel universe was a much-needed relief.
“I like setting myself and my team challenges we can overcome,” said Quinn, of the show. “It’s in a sports hall. But the point for me is to transport people, to create a fantasy and escapism. So, it’s almost a dream.”
We decode the three spectacular moments you need to know.
1. The Orchestra & Choir
Even at a fashion show, music can give you all the feels. Forget a banging DJ soundtrack; Richard Quinn hired the Philharmonia Orchestra and a live choir to provide the scene-setting melodies for his Spring/Summer 2020 extravaganza. What did they sing, you ask? Memories, from the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit musical Cats. Watching the models glide down the runway in all these sumptuous dresses to the sounds of the melodic harmonies was chilling. In the very best way.
2. The Little Ducklings
Little kids have been something of a feature this fashion week — at Roksanda, her daughter’s class sat front row in their gingham school uniforms. At Richard Quinn, however, a gaggle of five and six year olds were given a starring role. At the end of the catwalk, out they strode onto the pink carpeted runway, covered in plumes of feathers and dressed as mini couture ducklings. Was there a cuter finale to be had? We doubt it.
3. Say hello to Richard Quinn Bridal
Forget understated bridal; Richard Quinn’s debut wedding collection – unveiled at the end of the SS20 show – was brimming with 1920s-style beading, delicate tulles and dainty gloves. The 16-piece collection of midi-length dresses and two-pieces was set against a dreamscape floral backdrop — an ideal setting for an Instagrammable wedding. We can dream.
Main image: Holly Clark. Courtesy: Richard Quinn