Unable to travel to Paris for Dior due to the travel ban imposed by the EU against British citizens, Edward Crutchley, who is known to work with Kim Jones for a decade, is going to stick around in London for a bit longer this year. He is even looking for a three-bedroom flat in Angel to accommodate the entire archive of his own label.
The fall 2021 collection “Florizel,” named after the original title for the British soap opera “Coronation Street,” also pays homage to the motherland, particularly north of England where he was raised.
“Maybe because I haven’t been home in so long, it was really what was in my head at the time and I wanted to think about. All of the rollers and head scarves and these large jackets that farmers in the Yorkshire dales wear,” he said.
Compared to the bright and exuberant spring collection, the fall collection feels a little more grounded in reality. Crutchley introduced some easy cashmere-blend logo sweaters and tracksuits, donkey jackets in leopard jacquard supplied by Johnstons of Elgin and bomber jackets in a moiré pattern.
“I think people needed to get stuff out of their system last season from lockdown. Now, I’m feeling a little more different, and being a bit more pragmatic about what were actually going to need when this is delivered in store in six month’s time,” the designer said.
There are still elements of ostentation and glamour. It’s in the DNA of the brand. No mink slippers for fall is already a big compromise for Crutchley. Instead, Alim Latif from Roker designed a few loafers with giant frills for him.
Judith Leiber made three animal-shape clutch bags — a leopard, sausage dog and snail — as well as a slim clutch shape in seasonal prints exclusively for the brand. Stephen Jones designed a few sporty flat caps and a floating handkerchief hat, evoking a head scarf tied over an abundance of hair rollers, serving as a nod to Crutchley’s grandmother Lorna.
Crutchley also collaged temple frescos of Liugong Island in China — a resting place for British navy officers in the early 20th century that he visited with his partner a few years ago — to create a mesmerizing marble print that can be seen on blazers and shirtdresses in the collection.
For him, working on his own brand enjoys a higher level of creative freedom. With heritage brands, the archive is always the main point of reference, while Edward Crutchley is about his interpretation of what contemporary British luxury brands could be.
“I do feel there is a space in the market for something that is British, but has a global approach to it, it isn’t about hunting, shooting, fishing,” he said, listing off hackneyed “upper-class” references. “It’s about contemporary Britain and how a take on luxury from that point of view has a uniqueness that is relevant to the global market,” he said.