Postmodern Romanticism

The Designs of Scott Crolla

Scott Crolla was a fashion designer known for his eponymous line Crolla and the shop he ran of the same name (with his wife Georgina Godley)on Dover Street in London from 1981 to 1991. While other major fashion houses of the 1980s reacted against pop cultural trends with austere palettes and minimalist garments, Crolla took a post-modernist approach, applying traditional English tailoring to historical and global references to create his own distinct romantic, British maximalism. At the height of his fame, his admirers included Andy Warhol, Princess Diana, Boy George and Elton John.

Scott Crolla, c. 1985; Ad for Crolla, 1985; Silk brocade jacket by Crolla, c. 1988
Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Crolla also indulged in pattern-clashing and luxe materials a decade before other fashion houses would, mixing chintz, ikat, plaids and paisley with velvet, brocade and lace. He was especially fond of vintage Sanderson damask upholstery fabric, which he made jackets and pants from and is also seen on the present lot. From 1985 to 1986, Crolla designed a handful of furniture items, with the attention-commanding Cathedral Chair (Ode to Carlo Mollino) being one of them. Only sixty examples of this chair were made and Alexander McQueen was one of the first to own an example. The chair is a near one-to-one correlation with Crolla's fashion designs, with its union of sincerity and wit, modernism and pastiche.

My clothes are for someone who disregards fashion but enjoys fabrics. I would call it a calculated disregard for conventional taste.

Scott Crolla