Blog: Fashion forward print

By Richard Quinn, Fashion designer, who used Epson technology to create his autumn-winter 2021 collection and design its showcase film set

This season we wanted to challenge ourselves with what we could print and how we could apply print to lots of different things. We wanted to go beyond just making clothes.

Usually, for a collection, we would work for two to three months. For this collection, we had the luxury of around six months. It gave us time for our ideas to grow and for lots of things to develop whether it was the design, the textiles or the shape of the clothes.

We reached out to Epson just to see what type of range of fabrics they have and what designs could go on different things from nonslip flooring to wrapping cars and vehicles. We printed on so many more media and substrates than we ever usually would have.

Our vision was a world of Richard Quinn having an element that could interact within the space, people and characters in the film. I am from London and the film is very London-centric so we quickly settled on wrapping London taxis.

People are looking for escapism right now and the brand, the prints and everything we do is all about the fantasy of fashion. I’m a fan of fashion. I love creating a form of escapism for people. So, if that is people dressed as cats dancing on taxis I think then so be it. And moving forward it is something we would want to keep for any future events.

It was interesting to see how a print, usually for a garment, would be stretched on a taxi, on a different scale. All the print colour and quality pretty much worked the same which was amazing.

With a strict production deadline and things having to be turned around quite fast it was great to see how an idea that started out quite quickly could be turned around in time for the film. It was within two or three days that the printed taxis appeared.

Imaging the sets this season was exciting as was seeing them transform from a design to something in real life. We wanted to match everything from the print for the walls to the non-slip vinyl to be sure the dancers could perform safely while getting the aesthetic right.

Everything printed in the film came through the Epson printers including the set and the back drops. Another time challenge was quickly turning over the set within the production. The best solution that the production company found was to print the fabric and stretch it over the flats. Obviously, we could do that inhouse so we could work out the bleed, lengths of fabric and print all within our own space. We could take some of the heavy lifting away from the production.

For us as a brand it is important that all our prints are vibrant, have consistency and are accurate to what we see on the screen. The uniform way in which the Epson printers print the fabric allows us to not only use it for show samples but for production as well.

Dye-sublimation for us is our go-to process. Lots of print processes, we have found, have water waste and different chemicals going into the water and filtration process. We like the two-step process, print and heat transfer, and then the opportunity we always recycle our papers through an external company. As a 360 for is it is no brainer to use this process.

We use Epson dye sub printers because the coverage of fabric we get, depth of colours and also the detail in which the shades come out. On our screen we make subtle changes to the print and it is interesting to see how such a small change can make a fabric have the feel of either luxury or something quite mass produced. What you see on the screen and all the hand drawings that are turned into prints are all the detail that is within the Epson printer which is great for us because it cuts down time as well.

I have been using Epson technology since I was a student and my very first collection. It is a partnership that keeps moving forward and has grown as our business has grown. We can see how not only the technology has developed but us as a brand and the prints that we use.

Coming from a fashion design background from print where everything I did was manually or through a computer, having printers that you don’t have to be too tech savvy to use is great for everyone in the team. We have lots of different people doing lots of different things but everyone knows how to use the printers on a basic level. We can make the artwork and know across different substrates and media it is always going to look the same and at the quality we require.

From day one it has been important to make sure we have a part in the whole process of making the garment so we are fully aware of where everything comes from. It builds on the ethos of our brand. Being able to print everything within one studio and know where all our fabrics come from is something that we want to focus more on in the future.

For us cutting down our carbon footprint is of the utmost importance. So, to be able to produce our own collections and all our own fabric in house on the Epson SureColor F9300 and the SureColor SC F9200 – and we can print from one of our signature Duchess coats to one of our puffer jackets – within one space is great.

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