Richard Quinn is best known as the young designer whose first official London Fashion Week show in February included a surprise front-row guest – Queen Elizabeth II. Her Royal Majesty attended the event to present Quinn with the first Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, an accolade set up as her legacy to the industry, which will be presented annually forthwith. Her Majesty stayed to watch the show, as models sashayed down the catwalk in overblown floral silk prints – a few of which were turned into headscarves, tied under the chin, in homage to the Queen.
Now, another British institution that has inspired Quinn’s creativity is collaborating with him on his first accessories collection. The Liberty London team spotted the designer’s talent when he presented his Central Saint Martin’s graduation collection – and recognised several of the prints as reimagined Liberty designs. They liked what they saw and offered the fashion designer support. He was given access to Liberty’s print archives and a venue at the store for his first runway show.
The new limited edition collection, which officially launches in store on Monday July 9, includes coated canvas bags, purses and key rings. The pieces are pared back, providing a suitable canvas for Quinn’s glorious blooms, which are distorted, resized and recoloured to create prints that are totally new – and, on certain pieces, mixed harmoniously with shiny silver leather, a cool reference to the foil fabric prints that are integral to the designer’s evening looks. Head-turners include the Little Marlborough tote (£545), which features hand-applied, foil-edged patches of giant pink roses bursting from a classic monochrome art nouveau Iphis print. The Maddox cross-body bag (£395) comes in the same print, while the Merton tote features either double (£395) or single (£345) floral prints.
The accessories extend to wristlet pouches (£165), card pouches (£145) and holders (£85), coin purses (£85) and silk scarves (£95), some emblazoned with a new Liberty logo in Quinn’s handwriting.
Quinn’s rise has been meteoric – he has gone from print guerrilla to fully fledged fashion talent in less than two years – and these pieces are part of his ongoing story.