Edward Crutchley's Greyscale Illuminations
Updated: Mar 3
Patrick Michael Hughes Senior Fashion Editor Men's Fashion Writer
LONDON: EDWARD CRUTCHLEY showed his Fall 2023 on the first day of shows of London Fashion Week. Just as one would expect from CRUTCHLEY, it was a filled with artistically crafted textiles, a unique London savvy, informed references and an unapologetic selection of identity affirming styles.
CRUTCHLEY followers know that he is a bit of a fashion historian, who has looked to documented silhouettes and narratives for inspiration. Fall 2023 was informed by the early fifteenth century's transition form medieval styles to the dawn of the Renaissance. It was a period when clothing moved form sectional, tied and pieced dress to constructed garments filled with swagger, national imprint and political alignment. CRUTCHLEY's primary source of inspiration was the comprehensive publication, The First Book of Fashion, an illustrated record of dress during the fifteenth century.
CRUTCHLEY presented is collection in a dark, dimly lit space and the models snaked through the attendees in multiple shades of grey, ivory and black. The textiles were striking and when seen one after the other, they were fully fashioned looks many of which were draped with nods to heraldry. CRUTCHLEY included in the collection large black and grey badges, characters reminiscent of the playful images seen in manuscript medieval illumination.
Flourishing textiles and construction were also part of the this collection, ivory stacked ruffle trousers in silk taffeta and bold graphic black and grey looks highlighted tailoring. As always with CRUTCHLEY 's work the silhouettes work on any modern gender expression. The fall 2023 knitwear is also noteworthy, volume mohair pieces wrapping and draping the body with deep 'V' necks.
Accessories included modern bucket hats and knit head-gear worthy of Jan Van Eyck advanced forward, for a modern urban pilgrim. EDWARD CRUTCHLEY is consistent and and always presents a mind provoking collection. This season the inclusion of a full on leather cod piece with a beautifully draped leather jacket communicated who was in the room and at the man of the moment, it's sure to be a topic of discussion and all over social media. However, there so much more to this intelligent and timely collection. CRUTCHLEY is looking at eras of kings,
champions, workers documented in one of the earliest forms of fashion scholarship. Britain is in a cultural moment of transition, CRUTCHLEY selected an astute background narrative to be inspired by for this moment of a new direction. The EDWARD CRUTCHLEY Fall 2023 presented at LONDON FASHION WEEK was an excellent collection form a British artist.