The codpiece bra and codpiece-codpiece will certainly stimulate the social media reaction to this Edward Crutchley collection. Less clickbaity but more enduringly arousing was how clearly engorged with thought these pieces were.
To inform his modernity Crutchley turned to the pre-modern: that seismic period where enlightenment ethos enabled Europe’s transition from medieval to renaissance. He looked at The First Book of Fashion, an illustrated record of 40 years worth of fits worn by a pair of 15th century father and son post-feudal hypebeasts. To add graphic emphasis to the extremely old school silhouette glitches (good ones) this generated, he added in illustrations of a bawdy, vaguely Chaucerian looking cast of characters recast in the manner of a 1920s/30s cartoon.
Tracksuits and draped tailoring came cut with oppositional panels of monochrome, reminiscent of the early military/sporting uniform, vaguely harlequin in style, that you can sometimes see historical re-enactors flaunting in Florence. A smidgen of structure was delivered by a series of v-neck knits in a mohair mix that reproduced those far-gone fops in various compromising positions. A lovely ivory ruffle pant in silk taffeta and its accompanying black dress were another reminder of history’s shifting position on gendered expressions of frou-frou, and contemporary lack of perspective. Bucket hats and wrapped scarfs and headpieces sometimes teamed with shades added a Cardin-meets-Castlemorton twist, emphasized by the banging Computer Overlords. The roomy Armani-on-steroids shoulders featured on some tailoring added a gently heroic aspect. And then came the codpieces. “You’ve got to have a matching set,” observed the designer backstage. This was a picaresque, episodic collection that was full of fascinating characters.