Good things are worth waiting for. With a slight delay from his slot on the LFW schedule, Richard Quinn created one of those moments that will go down in fashion history. One of East End’s many leisure centres was turned into a banquet hall, with levels of glam you could only (maybe) see in Joan Collins’ wardrobe on dynasty. There were feathers, sequins, crystals and latex – basically everything you could find in a drag queen’s wardrobe, shaken up in a blender of old-timey fashion. Paying homage to the grand spectacles of 1980s and designers that defined extravagance like Christian Lacroix, Quinn took this opportunity to veil the darkness of the negativity in the outside world by testing himself and his team on how far they can go with the small scale of the business. The answer is: very, very, very far.
The proceedings all took place on a giant pink carpet which covered the hall. Was this a nod to this year’s camp Met Gala which Lily Aldridge and the designer himself serving lewks on the stairs covered in a similar shade? No, it was actually one of the few shades Quinn’s brother offered when sourcing the materials. While on the outside, the fantastical extravagance (as styled by Katie Grand) looked nothing but perfect, Quinn admitted the production aspect included a lot of blood, sweat and tears. That’s probably why the show itself felt like a massive release of energy accumulated in the process of its making, the romantic emotion only heightened by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Bach Choir performing a live rendition of Barbra Streisand’s Memories.
The finale wasn’t just a finale. After last season’s tease, SS20 saw a full bridal section both on the catwalk and the stage which for those few moments turned into a fairy-tale postcard with set design by Derek Hardie-Martin. And for the sweetest part, there was a group of seven very young bridesmaids in the unofficial debut of Richard Quinn childrenswear, inspired by his own niece which walked in the show. “Like it or hate it, you feel something,” Quinn told us post show. Undoubtedly, this was a lot to take in, but when if not now? There has never been a better moment to switch off and dream.
by Claudia Croft