THE KNIGHT OF THE ROSE
Amal Clooney wearing a Richard Quinn gown to the Met Gala, Queen Elizabeth sitting front row at his show — the young British designer Richard Quinn has had quite a lot to be proud of lately.
2018 has been quite the year for Richard Quinn: the Queen of England attended his show at London Fashion Week in February, Amal Clooney wore a specially designed piece to the Met Ball in New York in May and his second high-street collaboration in June. All quite a feat for a young designer who has only shown two collections since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2016.
Richard Quinn’s Fall-winter show was a feast for the eyes, brimming with his signature prints and textiles in bold colours, upon reimagined 1940s New Look-style silhouettes. Styled over his trademark printed full-body suits they were worn by models including Jean Campbell and Adwoa Aboah. “I’m really lucky, the women who gravitate towards the brand like Adowa and Amal are all super intelligent and great ambassadors,” he says.
Quinn’s graduate collection earned him the 2017 H&M Design Award. With the prize money he set up his print studio under the railway arches in Peckham; an up-and-coming south east London neighbourhood.
“When I realised how much printing fabric costs to outsource, I might as well make them in-house and be entrepreneurial about it,” he explains. “When I won the prize I set it up straight away and was printing Charles Jeffrey’s collection on a half-finished table.” Now Quinn prints for emerging young design talents Stefan Cooke and Grace Wales Bonner, and offers sampling services to Burberry and JW Anderson.
It was in fact fine art and craft that piqued Quinn’s interest before he ventured into fashion. At school an obsession with Pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein ensued, drawn to their graphic approach and handling of colour, their influence can still be traced in the silhouettes, vivid colours and the busy clashing prints he is known for.
So what’s next for Richard Quinn? “I’m thinking of doing a palette cleanser, stripping it down and building it back up,” Quinn divulges with a coy smile. “I think a lot of people will be looking at us next season expecting prints, flowers and the gimp suits, but I want to give them something more unexpected.”