Friday, May 13, 2016

Craig Green // Fall 2016 // Menswear

Craig Green is one of those designers that the industry latches onto from their graduate collection and continue to support for the emerging stage of their careers. Nowadays he’s one of the hottest tickets during London Collections Men, with buyers, press and fans clamouring for tickets. Ambika P3 was the venue for his fall show in January; the venue is used quite a lot during LCM. It was a sterile environment but decidedly helpful in the presentation of the collection. There were a few words that could be used to describe the collection and what made it tick: fabrication and colour, insanity, protection.

A keen experimentalist, Green delved into a new realm of fabrication for fall. Heretofore he hasn’t used silk or leather, this collection marking the first entryway into using those fabrics. They were washed, dyed, re-washed (and apparently took forever to dry, according to Green) to give them a worn effect, as if they were hammered and beaten. The silks near the end of the collection showed signs of wearing, they were crushed and slightly off-looking. Moulded into odd, displeasing shapes, the indefinable garments were accented heavily with white straps, bursting from the grommets, or button fastens that were left untied. The colours used were described as “sickly” by Green. There were dull greys, clinical off-whites (to resemble scrubs), khakis, black and a tan hue. Intended to be a counterpoint to last season’s brights, Green found success in the darkness of the collection.

Dark themes were also prevalent in the making of this collection. There were notions of an institutionalised man. The opening look could be construed as a subverted straitjacket. The clothes that followed would resembled those worn in an insane asylum. As aforementioned, there was allusions to hospital scrubs.

The insanity in the collection could also be interpreted as a way to protect yourself from the world. Protection is becoming a recurring motif in some designer’s collections, I’ve noticed lately. Walter van Beirendonck and Rick Owens have dabbled with notions of protectiveness in their collections. Green interpreted that in interesting ways. Most outfits only exposed a sliver of skin—a man hidden away from the world, or shielding himself from the world. Similarly, some models pulled along blankets. A child’s blanket is a form of security. (Sadly those aren’t going into production). 

Green has only been around for four years but it feels like forever. In that space he has managed to cultivate a worthy brand for himself, which is designed for men but appeals to women alike. He is a spectacular showman, but not with gimmicky sets—he favours thoughtful consideration in his clothing over that. There is a lot of odious men’s fashion in the world, but there’s never a dull moment at Craig Green.
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