For Edward Crutchley, the Bridgerton effect is still very much alive and well, with 18th century-inspired period dresses opening and closing his spring/summer 2022 collection during London Fashion Week.
This was a collection filled with standout moments, not just the two dramatic gowns that looked destined for a palace ball, but the opulent contemporary pieces they bookended, such as an oversized cloqué bomber jacket with lurex brocade sleeve frills and mini skirt.
For spring/summer 2022, Crutchley looked to the queer culture of London in the 1720s for inspiration and modernised the idea of 18th-century opulence with regal bronze jacquards, sleeve frills, brocade, and fleur de lis prints, with contemporary loose tailoring from donkey-jackets to flares, as well as muscle vests, cropped bustiers, sweater dresses, and even a hand rhinestoned leotard.
Each piece was luxurious, not just in design but also in craftsmanship and fabrication, from the bronze-glinting leaf-pattern jacquards to the matching knitwear made by Knitup, a Hong Kong-based knitwear design platform with a technology-first approach to manufacturing.
Crutchley, who is also director of fabric for Dior Men, has been known for pushing the boundaries with his craftsmanship, and this season there was a focus on developing sustainable practices. He used recycled polyester and traceable merino and worked with The London Embroidery Studio on the bespoke embroidery.
As well as detailing out fabrics and where pieces were made on his show notes, Crutchley also referenced historical figures and terminology and shared a reading list on queer fashion and culture.