London Fashion Week: 14 looks we loved from Richard Quinn to Simone Rocha

Rocha, Chung, Quinn and Beckham were among the most memorable of the spring/summer collections

Get your paws on this beast of a coat from Richard Quinn – the boldest outfit of London Fashion Week. Photograph: Stuart Wilson/BFC/Getty Images

Get your paws on this beast of a coat from Richard Quinn – the boldest outfit of London Fashion Week. Photograph: Stuart Wilson/BFC/Getty Images

 

You never know what to expect at London Fashion Week. When it comes to the spring/summer collections, experienced industry insiders will argue that Milan - which began on Thursday - does that season better than anyone else but with a lot less fanfare. Though with some 80 catwalk shows and bigger than usual crowds, there were no shocks from London this season other than a sensational report that front-row tickets to top catwalk shows were being offered for sale for up to £5,000 (€5,600) each by a number of designers.

London Fashion Week closed on a high note this week with a breathtaking collection from 28-year-old Richard Quinn fast making a name for himself as a designer internationally. From Peckham and the son of Irish parents, Quinn, a graduate of Central St Martins in 2016 was the first recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Award for British Designer presented in person by the queen last season. 

 His show on Tuesday, with its technicolour floral dresses, black ballet tutus and floor-length black coats displayed a mastery of dramatic style that is most definitely his own. He has already dressed Amal Clooney for the Met Opera and was awarded €50,000 by H&M, which recognised his talents and bold originality. The show was memorable for riotous print that worked in exuberant forceful ways – in playful, flirty Carmen Miranda skirts and in leopard-print balloon dresses and opera coats. The designer, who said he learnt his business skills from his father, a scaffolder, was in Dublin a few months ago for the opening of Create in Brown Thomas, which showcased his winter collection.

The other star of London Fashion was undoubtedly Simone Rocha, with her graceful and beautiful homage to her ancestral Chinese heritage. Her collection drew not only from the sumptuous Oriental dress of the 18th century and the traditional Ancestors’ Day ceremonies in Hong Kong, but, like all her collections, this one came from her cultural links and a deeply personal place. “Utterly majestic and wonderfully wearable” was one comment.

That aside, a sunny September weekend set the mood for the new year and a forecast of brighter times – and colours – to come. Stars of the week were the independent female designers, with Alexa Chung and Victoria Beckham stealing the limelight with grounded, commercial collections.

What to expect for the new season? No groundbreaking looks, but longer lengths, more layering, pastel shades alongside more dramatic saturated sapphires, oranges and pinks (notably Jasper Conran out on his own when it comes to colour) and, inevitably, the neutrals, masterfully shown by Riccardo Tisco at Burberry with a keen professional eye on the international market.

Irish designer J W Anderson was a lot breezier than usual (noted by his mother too afterwards) and Richard Malone displayed his mettle again with superb tailoring and sustainable fabrics.

The week closed on a high note with a breathtaking standout collection from the talented Richard Quinn, definitely one to watch.

Here are our top 14 picks from London’s spring catwalk collections:

Palmer Harding’s stylish easygoing shapes justify their reputation as ‘the shirt boys’. Photograph: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Palmer Harding’s stylish easygoing shapes justify their reputation as ‘the shirt boys’. Photograph: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Into the blue with Richard Malone using tailored luxury duchesse satin with a flourish of fringing.
Into the blue with Richard Malone using tailored luxury duchesse satin with a flourish of fringing.
Matty Bovan, one of London’s shining new stars, pushing the creativity of handwork, and what is London if not a little bit wild now and then?
Matty Bovan, one of London’s shining new stars, pushing the creativity of handwork, and what is London if not a little bit wild now and then?
J W Anderson lightened up this season with a collection that was breezier and more relaxed than before and featured white tied back scarves which could set a trend in itself. Photograph: Getty Images
J W Anderson lightened up this season with a collection that was breezier and more relaxed than before and featured white tied back scarves which could set a trend in itself. Photograph: Getty Images
A trim trouser suit from Alexa Chung, smart and casual. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n /AFP
A trim trouser suit from Alexa Chung, smart and casual. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n /AFP
Katrantzou’s collection was a showstopper and this collection was based on images of all the things the designer collects.
Katrantzou’s collection was a showstopper and this collection was based on images of all the things the designer collects.
How to do that languid New York ease (note the split cuff trousers) by Victoria Beckham.
How to do that languid New York ease (note the split cuff trousers) by Victoria Beckham.
New label Minki puts some fun into summer coats. Photograph: Getty Images
New label Minki puts some fun into summer coats. Photograph: Getty Images
Riccardo Tisco’s revamped Burberry relied on the neutrals with Italian flamboyance.
Riccardo Tisco’s revamped Burberry relied on the neutrals with Italian flamboyance.
Roksanda, known for standout colours and silhouettes, presents a red carpet number that makes an impact.
Roksanda, known for standout colours and silhouettes, presents a red carpet number that makes an impact.
Erdem mixed wild and flouncy with sharper shapes, showing how veiling can dramatise a suit. Photograph: Getty Images
Erdem mixed wild and flouncy with sharper shapes, showing how veiling can dramatise a suit. Photograph: Getty Images
Simone Rocha’s graceful tribute to her Chinese heritage – exceptional craftsmanship, embroidered roses and a new take on mantillas.
Simone Rocha’s graceful tribute to her Chinese heritage – exceptional craftsmanship, embroidered roses and a new take on mantillas.
When it comes to colour, nobody commands it better than Conran wth a whipsmart pink jumpsuit.
When it comes to colour, nobody commands it better than Conran wth a whipsmart pink jumpsuit.
The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.