2013 started with the embryonic-but-growing-faster-than-a-dog-on-steroids London Collections: Men. Craig Green stole the limelight at the MAN show, with his ‘bizarre plank hats’ (thanks Daily Mail). But, as usual with bold fashion statements, there’s more to the collection than meets the eye. Here’s an exclusive shoot with some of the AW13 pieces, plus an interview with the man himself.
Who do you think wears your clothes?
It’s early days for my label – I haven’t even been graduated for a year yet, so I think its something that will continue to change and develop. Hopefully someone who has an appreciation of craft, hand techniques and construction. Although the presentation of my work can sometimes be viewed as extreme, I always aim to make the clothing with a strong attention to detail.
Do you think your designs are very ‘London’?
I don’t think I’ve ever designed being conscious of it feeling ‘London’ or not, but I guess being from London and living here my whole life makes it almost impossible for it not to have an influence.
How does it feel being a young designer in the big London machine?
It’s quite daunting, especially with so many young labels already in London Menswear. There is a lot of amazing support and a great feeling of camaraderie in London, which makes it great to be a part of.
What are your thoughts on menswear at the moment?
Menswear, especially in London, is becoming bigger and more experimental than ever – which I guess can only be a positive thing. Hopefully British menswear can continue to have its own platform.
Your accessories and structural pieces sometimes take the limelight away from your clothes, is there a reason you do this?
It is never my intention to make the sculptural element of the collection overshadow the clothing. In fact I spend 95% on the clothing and 5% on the show pieces. They are meant to work in balance together. I think shows should always be a form of fantasy and adventure, and I guess that’s why I always like to take a risk or aim to make things feel cinematic in a way.
What is influencing you at the moment?
I spend a lot of time watching movies and always take huge influence from film.
So far you haven’t used much colour in your collections, is that a personal aesthetic or do you think it’s just not right at the moment?
I am planning to use colour and print again next season. I guess it just hasn’t really fitted into what I wanted to do the last few collections, but I have used colour in the past and I studied and graduated as a print and textiles student.
Do you think fashion should be functional or experimental – a place you can have a little fun?
I think what makes fashion exciting, is that it always has to be functional in some capacity as it’s made with the body in mind. Whether it’s as simple as being able to move or be worn… some of the most successful designers have been both functional and experimental in their work. Without the experimental nothing will ever be pushed to change.
Your collaborations have been very successful and at such an early point in your career, does the idea of re-imagining established items and objects excite you?
I loved working with such well established brands. Having the opportunity to use my style of work alongside a company which already has a strong brand identity is both challenging and really exciting. I think you learn a lot from working with others and feel really fortunate to have worked with such great brands already. I hope there will be more collaborations to come.
You’re a very hands-on person, are there other creative practices you enjoy?
Apart from my own label, I work on a lot of art projects and making 3D objects for other brands. I recently just finished a commissioned work with Atopos CVC and La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, I created the visual identity for the upcoming ‘ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion’ exhibit opening in February. I also recently started teaching at Central Saint Martins which is something I’ve always wanted to do.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I like not knowing what the next thing might be, it keeps things exciting. I guess more colour and more collaborations I hope.
All clothes Craig Green AW13
Sculptures David Curtis-Ring
Hair Atsushi Takita using Bumble and bumble; Photographer’s assistants Courtney Campbell and Paulina Arlauskaite; Stylist’s assistant Gary Moore; Special thanks to Kingsland Road Studios and Pro Lighting