Scott Crolla, whose customers at this Dover Street store in London’s Mayfair included Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Boy George, Sir Elton John, Duran Duran, and Princess Diana, died on 24 July in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, aged 63, after a long battle with cancer. He was aged 63.
Of Italian and Scottish heritage, Edinburgh-born Crolla’s great-grandmother was the sister of Alfonso Crolla who in 1934 joined with Benedetto Valvona to found Valvona and Crolla importing Italian and continental wine to fledgling Italian communities in the east of Scotland and which is now a renown deli on Elm Row, in Edinburgh.
Crolla, who was born in the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavillion and attended Melville College in the city, forged a high-profile career in fashion with industry experts saying his impact on the British fashion scene was on an equal footing with his peers Dame Vivienne Westwood and Sir Paul Smith.
Crolla’s juxtaposition of mixing tapestry with lace, brocade and chintz, Paisley pattern with velvet, contrasting tartans on men’s trousers and pink Nehru-collared jackets, was groundbreaking at a time when minimalism pervaded.
Describing his signature style Crolla said: “My clothes are for someone who disregards fashion but enjoys fabric...I would call it a calculated disregard for conventional taste.”
His late mother, Aileen, a former model, worked incognito, using the name ‘Mrs Anderson’ on the reception desk and doing credit control at her son’s clothing store
Romano Crolla, Scott’s father, who will host the private memorial party at his home in Helensburgh, said: “We knew Scott was talented from a very early age. He was always drawing, usually cars. He was artistic but didn’t show any interest in fashion.
“He met some amazing people but was never fazed, never overwhelmed and always observing, and had an amazing eye for detail.”
Crolla, attended Brighton Polytechnic where he met his business partner Georgina Godley.
Trish Collins, a family friend, said: “Scott was right at the centre of things. His work showed tremendous craftsmanship. Viscount Linley, now Lord Linley, said his grandmother, the Queen Mother, was very impressed at the detail in a shirt of Scott’s her grandson was wearing. Even now people are buying 600 dollar shirts on eBay for his memorial service.
“He had an amazing eye for detail and did everything to the highest standard. This last year, when his father was caring for him in Helensburgh he wanted to start a project to build on the town’s heritage.”
Crolla was married and divorced twice - to the Right Honourable Rosie Cornwallis and Alexandra Marr.
Latterly Crolla collaborated with designer Vivienne Tam.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a green silk Crolla jacket in its permanent collection and his work was included in the V&A’s 2013 retrospective of Eighties fashion. A portrait of Crolla by Nick Knight hangs in the National Portrait Gallery Archive in London.