Quinn, the Queen and the glory of the Silk Scarf
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We’ve always known that the printed silk scarf is as timeless as it is trendy, but it’s fabulous to see the rest of the industry celebrating it again. Having seen silk headscarves on the AW17 catwalks of designers such Stella McCartney and the breathtaking cover of Vogue’s December issue, featuring Adwoa Aboah wearing that beautiful silk turban designed by Stephen Jones, the renewed appreciation of the use of luxury fabric and design is really exciting for us here. However, we never expected the silk scarf to receive such a royal endorsement as it did at London Fashion Week last month!
As part of the British Fashion Council’s initiative to raise the profile of emerging British designers, the Queen made an astonishing surprise appearance at designer Richard Quinn’s show on the last day of London Fashion Week. It was Her Majesty’s first-ever fashion show, and - unlike most novices - she sat next to none other than Dame Anna Wintour, the American Vogue editor-in-chief often referred to as the queen of the fashion world - and the show she took in was an homage to herself.
Quinn paid tribute to the monarch with a collection full of swing coats, silk headscarves and vibrant floral prints that he called "a tongue in cheek take on Balmoral, but done my way."
The womenswear and textiles designer is known for his bold use of prints, clashing bright colours and unconventionally-elegant dresses, which is very much on the same wavelength as Basma Design.
I just love what Quinn said and did. His witty and alternative approach captured the very spirit of what I do in the studio. I’ve always believed that the beauty of the silk scarf can be found in its versatility, besides the endless options the silk provides as a canvas for an abstract artist such as me. To re-interpret the stereotypical ‘grandma-chic’ of the silk scarf in such a modern and innovative way is truly brilliant for the industry and it was great to hear Her Majesty say as much. The young designer even confirmed her style status by saying “she’s definitely a fashion icon”.
Taking to the catwalk to address the audience of awed showgoers, many of whom curtseyed upon Her Majesty's entrance, the Queen said: "It is a great pleasure to be here at London Fashion Week today.
"From the tweed of the Hebrides to Nottingham lace, and of course Carnaby Street, our fashion industry has been renowned for outstanding craftsmanship for many years, and continues to produce world-class textiles and cutting-edge, practical designs.
"As a tribute to the industry, and as my legacy to all those who have contributed to British fashion, I would like to present this award for new, young talent.
"I would like to thank the British Fashion Council for selecting the first winner - Richard Quinn."
As a new, emerging designer who is still establishing myself in the industry, I rely on initiatives such as the London Designers Collective, where I recently took part on the London Fashion Week Concept store Pop-Up, and welcome any such support from the British Fashion Council, so this high-profile celebration of a young talent really inspired me.
With the Queen becoming such a style use for this season, it seems that the royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle might have some style competition!
I expect to see lots of you wearing your silk scarves this Spring! And what better gift could there be for Mother’s Day than an original luxury printed silk scarf?
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