Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, size does matter – at least on the Richard Quinn runway. The bigger the train, and bolder the print, the better.
For SS20, the London-born designer was keen to show that he was hitting his textile stride, and beating it into submission with a flowery whip. Think opulent pearl-covered bodysuits with classic hour-glass waists, rhinestone gimp masks, chic blazers and flared trousers in a distorted and glittery herringbone print.
These mysterious creatures exist alongside more modest silk rugby shirts in baby pink and soft green, and baby-doll dresses with bulging shoulder pads, fit for Minnie Mouse had she been an avid steroid user, accessorised with tight satin bows and sleek black gloves.
Waists are nipped in on vests and coats and faux-corsets, embroidered with beautiful textured roses, and Balenciaga-esque tear drop dresses are reimagined in iterations of Quinn’s signature bold florals, underscored by squeaky latex gimp suits that you’d be more familiar with partying at Torture Garden (London & Europe’s biggest fetish club) than a hall in Westminster.
Championing the gaudy and revolting sexual energy of performance artist Leigh Bowery, in all of his chaotic glory, Quinn’s SS20 collection is a perfect balance of the brash and the beautiful. It’s like the saying goes: style in the streets, sado in the sheets.
And later in the proceedings, embellished gimp masks were traded up for another unlikely accessory – quelle surprise – actual beaming smiles, as it was revealed that the designer had teamed up with Colgate to showcase the IRL results of the use of the brand’s buzzy new Colgate Max White™ Ultimate Whitening Toothpaste.