While much of London Fashion Week is about the most viral moments, hottest trends and latest labels to lust over for the upcoming season, every now and then a designer makes you stop in your tracks as they serve up a moment, not just a collection. And almost every season that designer is Richard Quinn.
Having staged a perfectly-pitched showcase in tribute to Her Majesty The Queen just one week after her death last September, this season’s runway was similarly sombre – but entirely more personal – in mood, as Richard’s spring/summer 2024 collection was dedicated to his late father, Patrick James Quinn, who died in June.
“In times of great sadness and loss comes a sense of reflection and calm,” read the show notes, with a handwritten caption printed on the other side saying: “This one’s for you, Dad”.
Five ballet dancers opened the show to a live choir’s rendition of Lord of the Dance, in what was a particularly uplifting ‘celebration’ of Patrick’s life; “a wonderful father, grandfather, brother and husband.”
As he walked out to accept his applause, a teary-eyed Richard Quinn quietly walked over to embrace his mother who was sitting alongside an empty chair with a framed image of his father.
Accepting his applause as modestly as ever, you could sense the genius designer’s overwhelm when the entire room rose to their feet to give him a thoroughly-deserved standing ovation. It was one of those rare moments amidst a packed schedule of back-to-back shows which saw editors continue to applaud long after the designer’s exit, when so often they’d be halfway to the next show by that point.
Of course, a mood is quickly squashed if the collection doesn’t live up to the showcase surrounding it. After all, that is what we’re all there for, and what lasts longer than the moment created to unveil it. Luckily for Richard, his couture-like focus on craftsmanship is yet to disappoint and his vision for SS24 is just as exquisite as we’ve come to expect.