While the future of the traditional Fashion Week calendar currently hangs by a thread, Italian catwalk names including Prada, Giorgio Armani and Gucci are continuing to stand up and be counted in the COVID-19 crisis by pivoting factories and production lines and donating generously to their local hospitals.
Now London Fashion Week superstar Richard Quinn has joined the coranavirus relief efforts by donating what can only be described as a capsule collection of medical gowns and coordinating surgical masks for NHS workers in the UK. Richard, who shot to overnight success when HRH Her Majesty The Queen attended his debut show, has family working for the NHS, and made these out of his deadstock – fashion speak for discontinued vintage fabric.
True to his house codes, there are nine different florals ranging from ditsy to dramatic, none of which would look out of place in any of his runway shows. However, dazzling as they may be, Richard Quinn’s scrubs and masks aren’t for frontline use, but to free up PPE (personal protective equipment) for ICU workers who need most urgent access to the UK’s fast-depleting supplies of medical gear, revealed British fashion critic and ardent supporter of new design talent Sarah Mower.
Richard Quinn is not alone. London luminaries Michael Halpern from Halpern Studio and fashion stylist and costume designer Kenny Ho – best known for dressing the Spice Girls, and styling Victoria and David Beckham’s wedding – have both taken on shifts to sew surgical gowns for the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hositals as part of an initiative organised by The Fashion School UK. Volunteers have been making over 5,000 gowns per week, seven days a week, that are taken straight from the machine room to the wards.