It was a double win for Edward Crutchley on Saturday night during London Fashion Week.
The London-based menswear designer and Central Saint Martins graduate — who has worked with Kanye West and Supreme as a consultant, and has also had a long-term partnership working with Kim Jones on textile development for Louis Vuitton and now Dior Men’s — was awarded both the Innovation Award and two minutes later was also granted the prize for Menswear, awarded by actor Colin Firth, at this year’s International Woolmark Prize.
“Everything was a challenge but I wanted to push what I knew I could do as far as possible,” said Crutchley, known for his exploration of global cultural references and his innate knowledge of artisanal textile techniques that are always made to feel contemporary.
For his Woolmark Prize collection, Crutchley got the oldest kimono company that’s been around for thousands of years to work with wool for the first time. “We worked with a couple of artisans in Kyoto on a really traditional tie-dye technique using wires and pipes done on knitwear.”
“I’ve worked with him for eight years now. He’s always looking all over the world at new techniques and I think that’s perfect for this,” says Dior Men’s artistic director Kim Jones. “He’s always shown me something new that I’ve never seen before and that’s really exciting.”
“I’ve done this a lot and this is the one time when it’s been totally unanimous. If he could have showed what his clothes look like on women he would have won the women’s prize as well, because the evolution of his work has been incredible. It’s poetry,” says BoF’s Tim Blanks. “It’s thrilling to see something that’s so advance but so utterly desirable, the combination of antique tradition and absolute futurism was just stunning.”
American husband-and-wife duo Michael and Nicole Colovos, founders of minimal womenswear label Colovos, took home the Womenswear Award. Both prizes were judged by a panel which included designer Alber Elbaz, actor Gwendoline Christie and The Business of Fashion Editor-at-Large Tim Blanks, chose the winners from 12 finalists that included CMMN SWDN, Willy Chavarria and Daniel W. Fletcher, who showcased their capsule collections made from Australian Merino Wool. Previous winners include Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren.
The win grants Crutchley and Colovos with 200,000 Australian dollars each, while Crutchley will receive an additional 100,000 Australian dollars for his Innovation Award win. Their winning collections will also be sold globally at department store including MyTheresa.com, Harvey Nichols, Lane Crawford and Hudson’s Bay.
When asked what he plans to do with the prize money, Crutchley laughs. “I want to take the time to really process where I can take it,” he says. “But first a glass of champagne.”