Without the help of a weather shaman – as far as we know at least – Edward Crutchley had the sun out for his SS20 show. Held in the courtyard of Haberdashers’ Hall, a procession of old-school glamour refreshed with modern kink unravelled in the wind. It was all about “nostalgia without being nostalgic.” Late 1970s and early 1980s crept up into his work as his silhouettes became slightly less exuberant than usual. The irreverent spirit and dramatic blowouts of Krystle Kerrington were embodied in both the boys and girls walking the show, just reinforcing Crutchley’s fluid approach to gendered clothes.
“Let’s use our resources and muster our forces to fight chintz oppression with bold self expression,” the revolutionary housewives of stock suburbia chanted in a cult 1996 Ikea commercial, which was namechecked as one of the inspirations for the collection. But this didn’t mean the show saw Scandi minimalism. Oh, no. It was simplistic but dapper, referencing but against the bourgeoisie. A sophisticated take on camp that included opera coats, slouchy tailoring, lush brocades and bows. A lot of bows. On clothes, on the backs of sensibly heeled pumps (created in collaboration with Louboutin) and sculptural earrings. Some of the looks were accessorised with matching swooshes of fabrics crafted into statement millinery, as imagined in collaboration with Stephen Jones. Billowing in the strong London wind with a blasting 1940s thriller-like soundtrack, there were lush hues of dirty blush, burgundy and aubergine. While rain might have contributed to the haunting drama of the show, the delicate silks were probably grateful for the dry treatment. “I wanted beauty and drama,” Crutchley told us backstage. Well, he’s got it – and then some.
by Dino Bonacic
Photograph by Jason Lloyd-Evans