by Stephen Garner

Edward Crutchleyʼs autumn/winter ‘20 collection represented a creative collision of many sources of inspiration. From fine British merino wool and mohair tailored into two-button or elongated lapel jackets to embroidered Barong Tagalog shirts that derive from the Philippines, the season builds on a world without borders. It makes an authentic case for artistic exchange, which has always been at the core of Crutchleyʼs philosophy.

The silhouettes are bold and regal – research on the structure of María Clara gowns and voluminous Victorian bishop sleeves has been refined into the extremely high and flat curved shape used throughout the womenswear. Elsewhere coats are easy, cut with volume. Denim jackets oversized. Tux trousers and fitted over-skirts are lean. Signature skater and Hawaiian shirts are in leopard Lurex and psychedelic cloud. Intarsia mink and Swakara coats are made by Kopenhagen Fur and knitwear with Johnstons of Elgin.

In September last year, Crutchley co-judged The Woolmark Company Award at TexSelect, which has been supporting emerging textile design talent for five decades. Three of winner Jaeyong Kimʼs wool and merino blend check and stripe fabrics have been specially produced by Johnstons and used in the collection across a number of styles.

Collaboration continues from head-to-toe with Stephen Jonesʼs Fez, finished with rhinestone Japanese chrysanthemums. These appear alongside headwear influenced by the cow-horn shaped hats worn by the Herero people of Namibia and are wrapped in patchwork ribbons. Models wear Christian Louboutinʼs round-toe evening pumps and court shoes channeling the pomp and polish of Louis XVI.