Craig Green Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
“A single, improbably picturesque image.” That was how Craig Green cued audience response to his Spring show today. True, there was a uniformity to the collection, the earnest young men and women walking in now-familiar variations of his mutated martial arts outfits/utilitywear, with the quilting, the wrapping, and the ties that bind streaming behind. But where the clothes took a new kind of flight for Green was in the palette of primary colors: orange, red, yellow, blue, and, appropriately, a glorious shade of grass green. Green’s shows have always been drenchingly emotional affairs. Today, it was the soundtrack (Hans Zimmer’s music for Interstellar) that was doing all the heavy lifting, while the clothes were playful, “bounding with chemical energy” (more words from the PR prompt).
Green said the campaign he’s just been working on with Nick Knight energized him in a way that took him back to college and the graduate collection that first flayed his name on London fashion, and he wanted to bring that spirit to Spring. Knight’s images make Green’s clothes dance. The spectacle of them in extreme movement is a revelation, one which the runway unfortunately can’t duplicate. But knowing that other dimension exists was beneficial to today’s presentation, because otherwise you might be compelled to wonder if it’s a little too soon for Green to be dipping into his own back pages for inspiration. Is it conceivable that the intense spotlight that has been thrown on him has fazed him a little? So going back to his roots after a mere handful of seasons could reflect Green’s yen to remind himself why he wanted to do this in the first place.
He talked backstage about getting back in touch with the craft of his work, but that is always obvious in his carefully layered and wrapped outfits. What was more intriguing today was the sly humor that snuck in here and there. “I’m scared of becoming serious,” he said with a little aw-shucks laugh. No risk of that with tops featuring twisted nipples of fabric bound tight with rubber bands, or long lactating streams of cloth, worn by both male and female models. There were other feminizing flourishes, layered skirts and quilted jackets tied high, empire-style. More cause for wonder: Was Green somewhat eccentrically acknowledging his sizable female following? At least half of his magazine coverage has featured women in his clothes, and this will be the first collection that is sized for his female fans.
Or is he more interested in creating a new gender in fashion? There were, once again, on his catwalk huge banners, big squares of fabric with a slit at eye level and a hole cut at chest height so the soul could float free. This time, the image was blank, but it was improbably beautiful.