Bicester Village has teamed up with leading fashion designer Richard Quinn and the British Fashion Council (BFC) to launch The Creative Spot to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. In a fabulously floral daisy design, the new pop-up shop showcases innovation and sustainability in British design. We caught up with Richard to chat about his career and his latest collaboration.
You studied at London’s famous Central Saint Martins; can you tell us more about that experience? I loved studying at Central Saint Martins, mainly because I was taught by such amazing tutors. They had a real influence on me and my work during my time there and afterwards. I had been interested in textiles and fashion for as long as I can remember. I used to love looking through photographs of the old couture collections, especially 50s and 60s Dior.
You worked for Christian Dior? Going to Paris to work at Dior was an amazing experience, and a real contrast to the rest of my time at university; it gave me a true insight into the inner workings of a fashion house.
You also worked on Savile Row. How did that help when you launched your own label? Working on Savile Row gave me an understanding of garment construction that has been invaluable to me ever since. Strong tailoring and construction underpins every collection, both in itself and as a base on which to place prints and embroideries.
Why did you choose womenswear over menswear? I love the sense of volume that can be created when designing womenswear. Oversized and exaggerated silhouettes really lend themselves to the application of print and embroidery, creating an impact on the runway.
What have been your career highlights? Seeing our clothes worn by celebrities is always really exciting – it is great to see them out in the world. Cardi B, for example, has worn our looks multiple times and she always creates a real style moment. Also winning the inaugural Queen’s award for British Fashion was a real highlight and felt like an important moment of recognition very early on in my career.
You’re renowned for your use of Parisian haute couture amplified with bold, English flower prints. What inspired this? I’ve always been fascinated by couture sensibilities, and love the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into these garments. In terms of the flowers, I like to twist these in unexpected ways, creating a kind of ‘dark beauty’ – the idea of floral prints with an edge is something that really interests me. For my AW22 collection, I sought to elevate all that I had done before, delving even deeper into the couture shapes and intricate fabrications that had always fascinated me – in a sense, it was a love letter to silhouette and craft.
So what can we expect for SS23? You’ll have to wait and see!
Many of your designs still rely on specific handcrafted skill. Do you think this a dying art or are we seeing an emergence? There will always be a place for craftsmanship. I think people are naturally fascinated by things that are intricate and bespoke. You can’t help but be amazed by something that has taken so much skill to create.
How did you get involved with The Creative Spot x British Fashion Council pop-up boutique? We were invited to design the store, and we knew it would be a really exciting project. It is great to see so much fashion talent shown together in one place, creating a real powerhouse of British Design. The Queen has always shown a real interest in British fashion so the Jubilee is a perfect opportunity to showcase the creativity and talent of a range of British designers. In our store design we have endeavoured to recreate the celebratory feeling of the British summertime, bringing a touch of brightness and jubilation to Bicester Village at this very special moment in time.
The Creative Spot is a joint commitment from Bicester Village and the BFC to promote British talent, showcasing designers including Christopher Kane, Eudon Choi, Mary Katrantzou, Patrick McDowell, Phoebe English, Roksanda and Sophia Webster. It is open at the designer shopping outlet until June 15.