London Men’s Fashion celebrated its fifth anniversary this past weekend. Five years and ten seasons of good and bad collections, of inherent old and average stuff but mostly the beautiful rise of an exciting new generation. We all know by now the Bobby Abley, Astrid Andersen, KTZ and Katy Eary (to just name a few) but probably not well (or not well enough) these three designers, Edward Crutchley, Craig Green and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy. Three designers with completely different backgrounds and aesthetics but the same desire to translate original ideas into garments, to resist the economical and editorial pressures to deliver commercial and easy to digest pieces. I can’t help but praise London’s insatiable devotion and taste for smart designs, new talents and constant need for the unconventional.
Now in his fifth collection, Edward Crutchley, also textile designer for Louis Vuitton since 2007, offered a whimsical SS18 season, flirting with historical references (Italian Renaissance vegetal patterns, 15th-century regal silk overgown, victorian collars, Jacquard, bustier and high waisted blouse), sportswear and 1940s silhouettes. As incongruous it might sound, it was a successful trip to unexplored territories like only Crutchley has the secret.
Craig Green is a poet. Each collection embarks us on a new journey, deconstructing silhouettes, staples, intertwining historical and arts and craft references. Green, now carried by most of the luxury retailers worldwide, has maintained a very personal vision, understanding very well the commercial obligations (denim made a strong foray this season) while keeping his artistic vision.
Charles Jeffrey Loverboy
London needed a Loverboy. Charles Jeffrey only graduated from MA Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins in 2015 but already showcases his collection as part of the official schedule. His eccentric vision, queer meets nightclub meets post punk, has the energy of a Vivienne Westwood, the “insolence” of a Jean Paul Gaultier and the dramatic sense of a Marc Jacobs. While not completely marketed and overly theatrical, Charles Jeffrey is the guarantee that London’s eccentric energy is not going anywhere.