• Text Dean Mayo Davies
  • 13th January 2015

Restriction and release

During last season’s Craig Green show, so moving was the experience that more than a few attendees shed a tear. Showgowers were prepared this time, protecting themselves.

Green was occupied with the idea of protection too, and vulnerability, in the designer’s deepest exploration of uniform to date. Jerseys were twisted and worked like sculpture on the torso, body armour was reconsidered, knits by Helen Price were missing a perfect circle over the abdominals – how’s that for vulnerable? – and straps danced on the breeze as models walked by, from the ‘figure dwarfing’ assembly of layers this talent has become known for.

A play in restriction and release it may have been, in a daydream the performance also had the grandeur and poetry of a classical art fixation: life at sea.

Could these be Green’s own boat men cosseted in big outerwear and waterproofs as they push out of their comfort zones on brutal waves? Had those in the Grès for men jerseys fallen leagues under the surface? And been washed up like seaweed in his first ever use of his namesake colour? It’s a fantasy that sprung to mind, as we were taken away from ourselves for a moment, floating alongside Iris, a piece by Belgian multi-instrumentalist and composer Wim Mertens.

Green is producing his own art through clever design, piece by individual pensive piece. No wonder when all the garments are put together and given a moment the experience is powerful. He can lead you to reverie yet these are clothes without any sense of costume you can break up and wear with jeans down the pub. His collections are flying out of stores – and the designer is so organised he delivered SS15 in early December, like a Paris or Milan house would. (They have infinite more manpower to do that, by the way).

Here is a creative who is equally as conscientious. No drama, only intensity. Soon we will be calling him just one word: vanguard.