Editorial Note: This month, in advance of NYFW and World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept 10, 2020, and in conjunction with Mikeysline in the Scottish Highlands, FWO is featuring outstanding young designers with a focus on mental health and wellness.
Designer Profile: Molly Quinn
FLYINGFLIMFLAM (@flyingflimflam) is a genderless apparel and accessories line by Molly Quinn that brings an eccentric flair to modern fashion through experimental design. Her work utilizes technology like 3D printing alongside traditional textile fabrication methods.
Her first collection, “an abnormal condition of sleep,” was inspired by German Expressionist art and horror films, analyzing the way that artists of the pre-WW2 period used fear to criticize their country’s growing authoritarian government.
The erratic art style lended itself well to creating unique textiles, from fabric crafted out of liquid rubber, screen printing layered over custom digital prints, and 3D printed garments and accessories.
The looks are all modeled after a body’s response to fear and distress, enveloping the wearer in overwhelming swaths of fabric and creeping necklines.
looks are modeled after a body’s response to fear and distress
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Modeling Agency: The Rock Agency
Photo Credits: Kasia Jarosz
HMUA: Zazu Salons
Models: Jules Nohner and Ryan Tihinen
Location: The Driehaus Museum
Molly Quinn graduated from Columbia College Chicago in May 2019 with a BFA in fashion design and is currently based in New York City. Her work has been exhibited at the Arcade Gallery in Chicago, IL and at the Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence.
Q: What sparked your interest in fashion?
I’ve always been interested in art, but never felt drawn to any particular medium until I began experimenting with clothing and textiles.
In middle school I started listening to Lady Gaga and became obsessed with everything she did fashion wise. Her outfits, music videos, performances. She was really the reason that I started paying attention to runways and following designers.
I learned basic sewing from Youtube videos so I could make pieces to wear at her shows and used a hot glue gun if I couldn’t figure it out.
One of the earliest was a headpiece constructed from my parents’ old rotary phone and a bike helmet. It wasn’t until I was 17 though that I realized I could translate this into an actual career path.
Q: As a designer, what matters to you most?
Always experimenting and never taking myself too seriously.
I tend to draw inspiration from serious subjects and my aesthetic is rather dark, but at the end of the day, fashion should be a bit ridiculous and weird.
It’s why I use 3D printing so much in my work. It can create shapes and forms that just wouldn’t be possible with fabric alone, and keeps me constantly evolving as the technology changes.
Q: Who do you envision as your “core customer?”
Someone who’s looking for an experience beyond fast fashion, who’s interested in the processes and technology that may go into a piece.
Q: What’s your vision for the future?
My vision for the future is to work towards a more accessible and sustainable industry.
I’d love to see smaller businesses and artists thriving as consumers move away from fast fashion and learn more about the industry’s impact on the environment and human rights.
I’d also like to see a shift towards genderless design in mainstream fashion. The gender binary shouldn’t be a deciding factor when choosing what to wear and no one should feel alienated by the clothing options available to them.