Big it up. That’s just what emerging talent Richard Quinn did for fall, supersizing his lineup of couture silhouettes so they were fit for Amazon warrior queens. Could those shoulders make it through a doorframe? Could the models spot their toes under their voluminous puffball skirts? A sparkling, black-and-white houndstooth pattern on a prim peplum suit was big enough to spot from yards away, as were the fat watercolor roses spilling over a large silk cape.
The designer, who had worked as an intern for Dior in Paris, said he wanted to put couture techniques under the microscope and explore extremes. “A lot of the Dior archive pieces had a corset within the dress. All of our dresses have a corset, so you really get the extreme waist,” said Quinn, who often showed his lavish gowns and sparkling dresses layered over shiny black latex bodysuits and leggings.
“We wanted to keep it classic, but with a darker element, and we wanted to be more extreme this time, and more elevated with location and atmosphere. We wanted to have a world,” added Quinn, who certainly knows how to make a statement. Last February, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design, and the Queen sat in his front row, while last September he had members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform live at his spring/summer 2019 show.
This time, singer-songwriter Freya Ridings performed live on the piano as models glided down the runway in New Look style suits with sculpted peplum jackets or magnified patterns such as paisley and houndstooth.
Billowy printed dresses with broad shoulders and bejeweled collars and cuffs followed, as did puffball skirts glittering with bright flower patterns and embroideries, skinny minidresses with extra large cream puff sleeves, and generously proportioned prom dresses with tulle rosettes and sparkling crystals. Black tulle exploded from the back of a long and slim, red and green rose sequined dress, while yeti-style feathery hoods enveloped some of the models’ heads and shoulders.
Although this show was too long and, at times, overwhelming, each piece glowed with glamour, craftsmanship — and confidence. Time to get out those heels, ladies, build up your muscles and swagger to Quinn’s gutsy music.