Set against the exquisite backdrop of the Ironmongers’ Hall with its heraldic wood paneling, crystal chandeliers and stained glass windows, Edward Crutchley summoned a regal mood for spring.
The designer employed a plethora of lush fabrics, from metallic poplin to floral silk jacquards, to construct his grand silhouettes. Taking cues from Mantuan robes and Edo-period wedding gowns, Crutchley, a textile consultant who also collaborates with Louis Vuitton’s Kim Jones, dressed men in Elizabethan corsets, long and belted shirtdresses and full-length skirts boasting giant side hoops at the hips.
Surely, this was a theatrical proposal — though Crutchley preferred the term “manly pomp” (dipped in “irreverence of gender”). This overtly unisex lineup still had plenty of contemporary zing. Matched with supersized suit jackets nonchalantly thrown over the models’ shoulders, the corset numbers, especially, oozed a surprisingly modern flair. Large, fluid tunic shirts and languid, high-waisted trousers worn over cut-off tops looked like something Henry VIII would have sported to bed. But when matched with a pair of Converse sneakers, they didn’t seem so out of touch — or time — with the whimsies of East London’s daring fashion set.
Elsewhere, the historical theme came through via luscious botanical print motifs (and occasional monkeys frolicking in the thicket), which gave cropped bombers and sporty tracksuits a deluxe feel. Definitely not for wallflowers.
For more on the men’s spring/summer 2018 season, watch this: