Edward Crutchley A/W 2020 London Fashion Week Men’s
Mood board: Crutchley made a strong case for nu-baroque in a greige age. His collection was full of rich textile and print: from leopard Lurex to a reimagined Chinese cloud jacquard inspired by Javanese batik. There were rhinestone buttons, patchworked mink and floral embroideries riffing on the pageantry of Nuta Kotlyarenko’s glitzy country and western suits. Plus high-waist tux trousers worn with lean over-skirts, boxy denim jackets and Hawaiian shirts. A cropped jacquard pea coat echoed the mottled furs of African wild dogs. In September last year, Crutchley was co-judge of The Woolmark Company Award at TexSelect – an initiative that has supported emerging textile design talent for five decades. He has used three of winner Jaeyong Kim’s wool and merino blend check and stripe fabrics for the coming season too.
Sound bite: As a designer, Crutchley is part magpie, part eccentric uncle. He is a hoarder of global textile and technique, print and pattern. Crutchley’s 2019 Woolmark prize winning collection referenced Malinese mud-cloth, Breton lace and renaissance Italian tiles. His A/W 2020 makes an authentic case for artistic exchange in a world that feels hostile to difference. ‘It started off looking at Indian fabrics and how they were traded between the East and West but then it developed into something else. Really, it is about a certain internationalism – working beyond borders and looking outside of one’s self and one’s culture. That’s important now more than ever,’ he said.
Team work: Upon winning both the Menswear and Innovation gongs at the International Woolmark Prize, Crutchley celebrated by buying ‘Mason, Ayse, Jasmine’ – a large figurative painting by the American artist Erik Jones. Jones’s neo-cubist bacchanalian nudes decorated in abstract shapes have been printed onto cotton and silk and used throughout A/W 2020. ‘In the past my work focused on the relationship between figure and form and has always been heavily influenced by fashion,’ Jones said. ‘My latest body of work was meant to be more narrative, though I wanted the narratives to be ambiguous. The shapes that have decorated the figures in the past have now become the figures themselves. What Edward has done with the paintings is transformative! Making the paintings wearable creates an entirely new way to read the work.’ §