Ahead of the unveiling of his latest collection at London Fashion Week, the designer partners with the Scotch whisky experts for a floral-infused Couture collection of collectable whiskies.
The ingenious creativity that flows out of London Fashion Week never ceases to amaze. A truly celebratory affair that brings together dynamic minds from across the globe in a bid to celebrate innovative fashion and the new collections of infamous designers, it is the most anticipated event of the season for good reason. And, one name responsible for making the week undeniably grand is Richard Quinn. Famed for his juxtaposed floral-meets-fetish creations, the 31-year-old talent is at the helm of the British fashion movement, and his latest collection set to debut at LFW is one of the reasons why. But, while his upcoming catwalk is stirring up industry chatter, that is not the only project Richard has been busy working on.
Looking to the infamous Scotch whisky brand Royal Salute, Richard has drawn on his edgy reinterpreting of patterns for a new collaboration. Consisting of a set of Couture limited edition flagons, the partnership hopes to spotlight the pair’s creative harmony with two different designs, both of which encase the exceptionally aged beverage that has allowed Royal Salute to catapult to the peak of the drinks industry.
When speaking on how the collaboration came about, Richard explained, “they reached out and I’m a fan of whisky whether I’m out and about or at home, so it was one of those things where it was more of a personal interest at first. We delve into the archive of Royal Salute and what they’ve done before and all of these different things, so it was interesting to see how we could design it from the ground up, including their iconic flagons – which is what their bottle of whiskey comes in.”
Upon the release of the pair’s Couture Collection, the designer sat down with Wonderland to discuss his partnership with Royal Salute, his upcoming showcase at London Fashion Week and the advice he has for aspiring creatives. Head below to read our interview with Richard Quinn …
Hi Richard, how are you?
Good thanks, how are you?
I’m good thank you, where are you calling from?
From my studio, in Peckham!
Shall we get straight into Fashion Week? How are you feeling about London Fashion Week? You must be so excited!
Yeah, I am so excited! This is the first time we are showing a live catwalk since February 2020. It’ll be interesting to see how the catwalk works again.
The previous film that you did was amazing, it got such a good reception online. How do you feel about changing from that digital platform to a physical show?
I think it’s good because, before the pandemic, we tried to capture an atmosphere and experience when you came to our show, so it was really exciting to present in a different format. But, it will be really interesting to see how we go back to live shows and see how people respond and who is in town. It will be interesting to see the new normal.
Do you have a preference, physical or digital? Or are you still figuring that out?
I really enjoyed the film! I think it was very clear visually, and it was exactly how I wanted it to look. It was an interesting exercise to see how we could do a film on that scale. I think we knew that we’d do another film but now that everything is going back to physical, it’s nice to mix it up a bit.
Well, a show isn’t the only thing that is going on for you at London Fashion Week! You’re also unveiling your collaboration with Royal Salute. Can you talk us through the process behind bringing this collaboration to life and what went into it?
They reached out and I’m a fan of whisky whether I’m out and about or at home, so it was one of those things where it was more of a personal interest at first. We delve into the archive of Royal Salute and what they’ve done before and all of these different things, so it was interesting to see how we could design it from the ground up, including their iconic flagons – which is what their bottle of whisky comes in. It was an interesting print process, so we ditched the bottles and wrapped the print all the way around. For the actual print itself, we wanted to have the heritage of Royal Salute embedded within it.
Amazing! And you said that you’re a big whisky drinker yourself, but is there anything else about the Royal Salute brand that drew you to it?
So they’re an iconic British institution and it was interesting to see how they still craft drinks in a traditional way; even the bottles are hand-done. It’s really interesting to see how even on a large scale there’s still so much attention to detail.
The collaboration does spotlight your signature reinterpretation of the floral pattern. Was this a central focus of the collaboration or did it come about organically?
I think a bit of both! Obviously, we’re known for florals and we wanted to do it in more of a dark way. We would usually have quite joyous prints that are put in a dark context, but we wanted to make it a strong and bold print. We have the black and blue version and the white and gold version that links it all together.
Where did your love of mixing these delicate patterns with a bit more of an edge come from?
I studied BA Fashion Print and Masters at Central St Martin’s, and I always liked looking at the archetypes of different things. And, when you look at every collection, they all have a floral within it. So, it’s taking that and really saturating it. I looked at this artist from the 60s called Paul Harris and he had all of these textile figures, it was that real idea of how a print or textile can affect the mood of a character. That’s what I’ve always been quite interested in. And, the latex, leather and fetish-type wear offers a really nice juxtaposition.
I always think that about your collection, the juxtaposition is always there! Moving on slightly, you have dressed some amazing people. We’ve seen J-Lo, Kendall Jenner and Lady Gaga in your pieces, but is there anyone else that you’d like to dress?
I’ve always wanted to do a custom piece for Rihanna. She’s worn a few of our things in editorials, but it would be really nice to have that dialogue somehow. She’s iconic, so it would be amazing to work with her.
Oh my god, I’ve love to see you do that! Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring designers, or maybe there’s something you wish you knew going into the industry that you’d love to pass on to the next generation of designers?
I think it would be to be a nice person and be polite. Also, work hard. There are such amazing platforms that you can use to get your work out there and all the people in the industry, like Katie Grand, they’re all active on these platforms – even Wonderland! So, reach out and always put your stuff out there. It’s almost like you can make a brand wherever you are now.
Lastly, is there anything else going on, anything else you want to throw yourself into post fashion week maybe?
I think I need a break. My parents have got a really nice house in Ireland in the middle of nowhere, so I think I want to go there and just relax for a bit.