We learn more about Edward Crutchley
English Legends, Technology and Kim Jones

Edward Crutchley

Following his impactful installation at London Collections:Men just over two weeks ago, we find out more about emerging designer Edward Crutchley.

Edward Crutchley on Yorkshire, Kim Jones and Fashion East

Central Saint Martins graduate Edward Crutchley first appeared on the London Collections:Men schedule as part of the Fashion East initiative in 2014, shortly after graduating from the famed London university. The seeds to his burgeoning career were sown many years prior.  “If you listen to my mum, I was always interested in clothes”, the Yorkshire born designer told us just recently. “Apparently, I’d refuse to get dressed if I wasn’t happy with my outfit, which meant my leaving the house looking like a corduroy Leprechaun more days than not”. His debut collection, for Autumn Winter 2015, combined classic American sportswear staples with Far Eastern iconography and garments. Cotton sweaters mixed with intricate embroideries and silk baseball jackets worn layered underneath floating Japanese Haori coats. “I took very traditional Japanese shapes and imagined how they would look if they had been appropriated by Amercian culture then luxed it up a bit” he explains. From that first show onwards, Crutchley has been using luxurious and highly researched fabrics, a detail that has become a signature for this designer on the rise.

For his Spring Summer 2017 collection, presented on models perched atop a mattress-like plinth, Crutchley travelled far and wide to source rare materials. There are short sleeved shirts made of colourful ornate silk jacquards woven especially in Como, Italy. While suiting (in plain colours and oversized checks) hails from traditional mills found in Yorkshire. Other more local fabrics include British silk sating and delicate Crepe de Chine used for softly sculpted chore jackets. These luxurious natural fibres are juxtaposed with latex. Used by Crutchley the shiny material is tie-dyed entirely by hand and laser cut. While championing artisanal production, Crutchley also embraces technological advances. Case in point is his pioneering collaboration with Clo, a 3D garment visualisation software which allows to sew, drape and create garments on an avatar. Crutchley used the digital programme to design a collection of extremes such as oversized parkas with baggy sleeves, worn with visually shrunken trousers.

Edward Crutchley

In the past, Crutchley has credited his education at Central Saint Martins, and the school’s mantra of ‘Research, Research, Research’ for his richly layered collections with a narrative. While his debut collection referenced Japan and American team kits as inspiration, next season’s wardrobe is anchored much closer to home as the designer returned to his native Yorkshire, and the northern English county’s vast moors. Crutchley incorporates both the area’s wild nature and mystical folklore. Silks are dyed in earthy tones such dark browns and light nudes, pastel shades, copper, gold and purples mirror the area’s mineral composites. In August 1947, the Trow Ghyll Skeleton was discovered hidden in a formerly collapsed gully in West Riding; several decades later Crutchley pays homage to the mysterious find as an embroidery on mohair and woollen outwear. Another mascot is the cuckoo, referencing the fairy-tale like surroundings of the Oxenber woods where, as legend has it, villagers once built a wall around a tree to capture a bird.

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Such creativity has earned Crutchley many a supporter. Aged just 17, he worked with American designer Betty Jackson, followed by a stint with Clare Waight Keller, then Creative Director at knitwear institution Pringle of Scotland. Other names on his impressive CV include Richard Nicoll and Kanye West.  However, few have championed Crutchley’s work as early on as Kim Jones, Style Director of Louis Vuitton‘s menswear. The two first met at the 1856 founded Parisian house in 2010. “Working with Kim has changed everything for me. He is an amazingly generous person who shares his knowledge and time, and within Louis Vuitton really allows his team to develop their ideas and grow with them” he says of the working relationship today.

Edward Crutchley

Edward Crutchley

Edward Crutchley

Edward Crutchley

Edward Crutchley

Edward Crutchley