Edward Crutchley opens London Fashion Week with new northern glamour
Few designers love the whole process of creation as much as Edward Crutchley, who presented the first truly significant collection on the opening day of London Fashion Week.
In an essentially virtual season online, on Friday Crutchley talked his audience through his latest video and ideas – like working with Johnstons of Elgin on two impressive fabrics – a marvelous watercolor-effect leopard jacquard and a new tweed done in 100% cashmere.
His opening image was of a stern beauty in headscarf, large curlers and an oversized jacket in the aforementioned leopard print.
Cashmere throughout - from uber comfortable hoodies to pirate caps – all culled from the same fabric resource, whose materials are washed by the chemical-free waters of Scottish rivers.
Though the highlights of the collection were the fabulous ornithological prints of exotic birds, seen in great silk tops and shirts.
Crutchley frequently underlined British fabric suppliers in his video, as he narrated the whole show. But he also spoke of Continental suppliers like Gentili Mosconi in Como, which dreamed up some great cloudy moirés. Seen in a memorably dandy combo of roomy pants and clubbing jerkin. Rock star material par excellence. Other looks came in moirés taken from 100% recycled polyester made in Lyon.
Though his most bravura concept was a marble-printed merino wool tailored jacket – courtesy of Ratti of Italy – with a dramatic image of Renaissance revelers. The same material used in flat caps, from master London milliner Stephen Jones.
“While we have a strong British sourcing approach, it was also important for us not to feel bound to Britain. Not to feel exclusionist. And to continue working with our partners in Europe,” stressed the designer, in the first London season since Brexit began closing borders with Europe.
Crutchley’s evening job is assisting Kim Jones at Dior in Paris, where visitors to the design studio know he has an encyclopedic recall of the multiple couture techniques used in the that house’s menswear.
All told, this was the latest excellent collection from Edward Crutchley who somehow manages never to let his more outrageous concepts topple over his clothes. Without doubt the freshest mind in London menswear this past half decade.
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