Most likely, Queen Elizabeth II granted Richard Quinn one last favor. Her outpouring of response to her death prompted the designer of colorful, multi-floral prints to prove, in her homage, that he too can do so painstakingly and abundantly in black. The first 22 looks, many of which were heavily veiled in black lace, were carried out by Quinn and her team of six and 20 show assistants, day and night, in the 10 days following the Queen’s death. “It was a real labor of love, I guess.
It was almost cathartic for us to put all of our grieving emotions into it,” he said. “We wanted him to have that kind of real craftsmanship, the beauty of royalty, and try to turn all the shapes and embroidery that we do into that kind of uniform idea that they did when his dad [King George VI] deceased.”
Quinn, of course, owes the late monarch more than any other designer in London fashion history, since she came to her first show in 2018 and presented him with the first annual Queen Elizabeth II award. for design, its legacy for emerging designers. fashion designers in Britain. He changed up the decor he had planned, draping the walls in black and playing snippets of video footage from his youth on screens embedded in a central suspended installation.
“What you saw there was her with her corgis, interacting with animals and nature. There’s even a moment when she’s in the coronation car, and she doesn’t know she’s being filmed, she’s giggling and joking with Prince Philip, and suddenly she’s ready again. So, in that way, it was breaking that barrier, wanting to mourn the real her.
He pulled out all the stops on multiple silhouettes for this section: black swing coats, his translations of fitted 50s evening dresses, vast lurex capes, velvet tunic dress with a big sparkling jewel brooch. All of the models’ faces were either completely obscured by floor-length lace veils or obscured by point d’esprit netting. Under one of them, a tiny black crown was visible.
And then, well, it was off with part two: the show that should have been. This had been planned by Quinn to be revolved around a concept of public surveillance. There were CCTV cameras bristling with the central “chandelier”. Queen’s video screens switched to live footage from the audience. Then came renditions of multicolored bulbous bodysuits, her signature floral coats, feathered polka dot embroidery, a pair of bejeweled short capes.
Understandable if that party didn’t have the chance, or the power of the workshop to make their point fully. All of Richard Quinn’s young minds and hands had been dedicated to proving themselves equal to show up at a historic moment. The black put him in the shade, in a good way. The finale, however, brought back the veil of lace in a hopeful way: a bride, in white, with a huge spray of flowers. Weddings have become a mainstay of her business since Elizabeth II gave her her first push. He can also thank her for that.