Edward Crutchley’s spring 2022 collection approximated a visual essay on the history of London’s queer culture, from the 18th century to today.
Every look in the collection reflected his research on how the community has found ways to express its love of life and fight for freedom. He even shared a reading list at the end of the show notes for those who want to gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject.
Crutchley chose this theme because he feels that the world is not becoming a kinder place.
“I think there is a general shift to the right, and I think that’s always dangerous. There is more pressure on queer culture than there ever has been. We have the responsibility to speak up and to show the beauty of our community. I think reflecting on the past is always important for the future,” he said.
Three floors underground in Islington, in a space that seemed fit for a rave party, the show started with a laser display before a male model stormed down the runway wearing a period-style bodice and a dramatic skirt with train.
To him, peacock style and cross-dressing are strong parts of queer culture.
Volume is another key world for the collection. Crutchley is known for fabric manipulations, as he has been helping Kim Jones to source all kinds of fabrics at Louis Vuitton and Dior Men for almost a decade. But this time, he wanted to experiment with different silhouettes.
Besides the opening court dress in black, white, and gold patterned brocade, and the green lurex version closing the show, there were many iterations of volume for a modern lifestyle. Cue draped and oversize bomber jackets, a brushed mohair sweater dress, and a monochrome logo donkey jacket. There were also simple tank tops, boxer shorts, and minidresses made with the same luxurious fabrics for a casual, fuss-free night out.
He noted that the historical styles are not just replicas. They are thoroughly modern in their cut as well, with all seams placed in a contemporary position.