In little over a year, has risen to become one of the hottest tickets at London Fashion Week—last season Queen Elizabeth was his guest of honor. Today editors and buyers scrambled to make their way through the crowd of fans outside his show. Which is why you’ll be surprised to hear that the front row was populated not by celebrities but by art students from Quinn’s high school in London and Central Saint Martins, where he earned his degree. In recent years, arts programs have been desperately underfunded in British schools, and this was Quinn’s way of drawing attention to a system in dire need of support—without it, talents like his would have had no way to thrive.
Quinn has been diligent about incorporating a sense of community into his work, inviting students and fellow designers to use the printing facilities at his studio in Peckham. This season he pushed his technical-design smarts to dazzling new extremes, beyond the wallpaper prints he’s become known for. He heightened the drama of the presentation with a little help from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as models in velvet ski masks opened the show in black tutus and heels. With a video projection of gathering storm clouds as a backdrop, the tension was Hitchcockian. Out of the darkness, however, emerged a series of glittering, embellished floral looks, starting with a 1950s-style cocktail dress entrusted with sparkling red roses. The passage of drop-waisted frocks, some in pale blue satin, others printed with hothouse flowers, were perhaps the pick of the bunch. They added a languid touch to evening that would flatter a wide range of body types—no Spanx required. That said, the marabou-feather numbers were pretty showstopping, too—who would have thought that feathered evening pants could become a thing?
Quinn broke new ground on the red carpet when Amal Clooney walked up the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art wearing one of his fantastic printed foil pieces this past May. With his latest collection, he proved there’s plenty more glamour where that came from. Hollywood’s well-dressed women could learn a thing or two here.