Edward Crutchley: Creativity Is Pandemic-Proof
Chapter Z speaks to fashion designer Edward Crutchley about his experience creating in the middle of a pandemic.
”You truly never know what is around the corner.
I was made redundant twice in six months then landed the job that changed my career.
It is difficult right now but, as always, perseverance and positivity are key to achieving what you want.
I know you are all about research, exploration, and about finding inspiration in different cultures and their respective craftsmanship methods, and also, that you work really closely with factories and manufacturers. What’s it been like working on your designs without being able to travel or move around as much?
To be honest it wasn’t so difficult. Of course, most of my research had to be done digitally but I was able to buy some reference pieces online, so I had something physical to get me started. My factory in North London were amazingly prepared for opening safely as soon as they could be. We were able to start making and experimenting with shapes in plenty of time to make the film at the end of June.
Of course, it was far from an ideal way to make a collection but by being organised and decisive it was fine.
The opening theme for Chapter Z is all about navigating the concept of “home”, what is home and how we’ve all been experiencing it recently. Do you think the fact that everyone has been spending so much time at home these past few months, and possibly the months to come, has changed the way you think about garments and textiles?
No not really. Personally, I didn’t want to think about that period and make it some overriding theme. I wanted joy and fantasy and drama. In a way I suppose that is a reaction to lock down in its own way.
Innovation is always a big part of your work, has lockdown been more of a limitation for you or has it pushed you to do things you wouldn’t have thought about in a different context?
It’s made me want to experiment more and be more joyful in my approach. But honestly lockdown was pretty much life as normal for me but not going in to the office. I had lots to work on and to get done so it wasn’t a period of deep thought and reflection. I just kept on going.
Your Summer 2021 collection feels like a journey around the globe. What was it like to work on an audience-less show and such a bold and adventurous collection in times when traveling and being bold and adventurous isn’t as easy as it used to be?
I quite enjoy doing video. Everyone talks about how amazing shows are and the experience of it. I’m sure that’s true if you are sat in the audience but if you are producing the show it’s incredibly stressful and anticlimactic.
Being able to make a video is of course still stressy but you have more time and much more control over the mood and pace and you can control exactly what is seen and what isn’t. So for me it was quite a liberating experience.
What would you tell young creatives that are struggling in these trying times to stay motivated and keep moving forward with their ideas, projects and dreams?
You truly never know what is around the corner. I was made redundant twice in six months then landed the job that changed my career. It is difficult right now but, as always, perseverance and positivity are key to achieving what you want.
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You can see more of Edward Crutchley’s work in this interview and shoot!