Brand Stan: Pam Boy On Richard Quinn
Known for his encyclopedic knowledge of fashion and his razor sharp critiques, Pam Boy is the fashion critic who keeps designers on their toes. Nevertheless, when Pam Boy stans, he stans wholeheartedly. We asked him to tell us more about his enduring love for British designer Richard Quinn...
Richard. Quinn. I mean, the homophone is rather conspicuous. Anyone whose last name sounds like one of the highest monarchical ranks must be destined for grandeur, right? I could go and make sense of this innocuously foolish parallelism, but a stan never explains themselves. A stan must only believe in their ability to stan at all costs. Yes, a stan believes! And in Richard Quinn I believe.
In this I am not alone. In 2017, Quinn received the international H&M Design Award. The following year, the young fashion designer became the first recipient of Her Majesty’s British Design Award, a trophy handed to him by Queen Elizabeth II herself. But my personal affection for Richard Quinn predates the accolades and the buzz.
I first heard about Richard Quinn while studying at Central Saint Martins in London, when images of his MA graduate collection surfaced on my iPhone screen. What a sight! An eruption of colours, patterns both floral and graphic, and old school haute couture shapes, all instilled with a fetishistic, sadomasochistic vibe. Read: Leigh Bowery meets late-night dominatrix. Its genesis could also be traced back to the work of American sculptor and lithographer Paul Harris. Needless to say, I stanned. We were all sold, right?
Quinn then launched a unique open-door print studio in Peckham, South London, offering both digital and traditional screen-printing services and workshops to his peers as well as students. I stanned a bit more. He has since rallied the world’s super-stylists, namely Katie Grand and Carine Roitfeld, to help him assert his vision and set an ambitious creative agenda. With them, his shows and collections have taken on another dimension, one reminiscent of the glory days of haute couture. I stanned beyond measure.
Lady Gaga wore Richard Quinn. Jenifer Lopez wore Richard Quinn. Billy Porter wore Richard Quinn. Amal Clooney wore Richard Quinn. The range of it all! But when Cardi B descended upon Paris Fashion Week in September of 2019 in a full, head-to-toe look, the game was over, and the Quinn was victorious. I stanned with all my soul.
What makes Richard Quinn’s work so compelling is that it swims against the current while remaining utterly au courant. In a world of hypebeasts, hypebaes, and streetwear fanatics, Quinn offers a seductive alternative. He is the purveyor of spellbinding, sequin-dipped, peplum-enhanced gowns and dresses. He injects a sense of wicked fabulousness to soothe our minds, indulge and daydream, even in the darkest of times. So, I will keep on stanning, won’t you?
Pam Boy is a writer, podcast host and founder of SCRNSHT magazine.