London Fashion Week could perhaps be summarised in two words: Craig Green. The British designer presented his first solo show to overwhelming critical acclaim. Tim Blanks declared it a “fashion moment… rare enough to be an urban myth,” while it reportedly reduced some onlookers to tears. Models walked barefoot to the emotive beat of Struggle for Pleasure by Belgian minimalist Wim Mertens and the atmospheric Caribbean Blue by Enya, the latter of which nicely summed up the collection’s azure colour palette.
“We wanted it to feel like the end of a silent protest" — Craig Green
Green presented a poetic blend of lightweight wrap jackets and shirting aligned by ribbon ties which hung and fluttered from sleeves and voluminous utility trousers, while technical details were found within pinstripe quilting: “The exploded quilted jackets are something that is totally new for us and in a lot of ways they convey the ideas of the collection,” Green explains. Like much of menswear (see Alexander McQueen, Astrid Anderson) there was a Japanese quality to proceedings. “We wanted something that almost felt like a reaction to last season: something that was calmer and easier in feeling. The starting point was a stripped back zen and included the ideas of freedom and restriction."
Green has grown through the fashion ranks, graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2012 before showcasing his collection with Fashion East and then MAN. “I've always loved to make things and fashion became the best outlet and suited the way that I like to work. I guess I found the fast-paced nature of it appealing.” He was awarded a British Fashion Award last October and was a semi-finalist for LMVH’s prestigious Prize for Young Fashion Designers, as well as collaborating with the likes of Adidas, Grenson, Mr Porter and Topman. He is currently the star of Dover St Market’s window display, creating a giant octopus which mimics his S/S15 collection.
However it was this week that Green came into his own with a honest, delicate and sincere collection, characterised by his signature angular wooden structures: plywood armour erected high above each model waving like a white flag. “We wanted it to feel like the end of a silent protest,” he explains. “The collections always starts with a mood or an emotion and then other sources and inspiration points come in later.” While S/S15 may be the end of a protest, it is also marks the start of something big for Craig Green.
Text by Mhairi Graham