New York Fashion Week Spring '13: Dean Quinn's Subverted Elegance

Summary: At 26 years old, with only three seasons showing his own line under his belt, Dean Quinn is quickly making a strong name for himself. Starting with a very interesting story. At 16 he left Ireland for London, where he got an internship with Zandra Rhodes who encouraged him to go to Central Saint Martens. Despite knowing nothing of the school (he thought it was a religious institution) he wound up graduating with the Womenswear Designer of the Year award, landing a job with Donatella Versace that lasted just a year before he set out on his own to start his namesake line in New York. Unlike many new designers, who can get stuck and not fully understand the necessity of reinvention and experimentation in those early stages, Quinn has already acknowledged his strength – dresses – and worked hard to subvert it. With that, we received a collection of distinctly elegant separates and pant suits for Spring, featuring bibbed and layered drop-waisted tunics in sheer fabrics with asymmetrical seams and color blocking. The tuxedo-bib inspiration was not as strong for me as some of his other looks – an all-black pantsuit with a unique medial zipper, or a sleeveless, drop-waisted grey and white color blocked tunic over pewter pants, for instance – but I appreciate the effort to manipulate form and shape, and to create different variations of visual texture. One thing is for sure: Dean Quinn has a strong design sensibility and a career that’s destined for greatness. I’m just happy to be part of the group who, five years from now, can say, “I saw him when…”
Colors: White, metallic pewter, red, silver grey, pale yellow
Fabrics and Textures: Pleated, bibbed, satin, color blocked, drop waisted, layered
Key Looks: White and grey sleeveless tunic with pewter trousers; Cream sleeveless tunic with a pleated dropped waist and white trousers; Pale yellow sleeveless dress with side zippered slit.
– Amanda Aldinger

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