Running up that hill
With Stranger Things reigniting a worldwide fervour for the transcendent sound of Kate Bush, we want to shout out a designer who has been riding for the British musician since the very beginning: an eight-year-old Craig Green.
Bush first emerged in his work during SS17, her once familiar vocals twisted into a haunting and classic composition by cult composer Frédéric Sanchez. Then, upon releasing his FW18 collection into the world two seasons later, Green was both puzzled and delighted to find a number of similarities the collection shared with the singer’s 1985 single, Cloudbusting. The second single of Bush’s magnum opus, Hounds Of Love, the track tells the story of eccentric inventor-cum-shaman Willhelm Reich, mastermind of the ‘orgone accumulator’, a box that harnesses esoteric energy to cure many a societal ill. Bush’s interpretation comes from the awe-inspired memories of Reich’s son, and has topped many a Green-curated playlist over the years with its optimistic chorus-lines, short staccato chords and classic violin riffs.
This kinship makes total sense, of course, as Green is another boundary-breaking inventor in his own right. Subverting function and form (albeit with padded and transformer-like outerwear instead of mystical energies), FW18 saw Green take great design risks as he set about creating tent-like apparatuses and their otherworldly appendages. The ensuing campaign also spoke to Bush’s Donald Sutherland-starring video, something Green realised after he had posited his models as living windmills in a series of idyllic country landscapes. With rolling hills and grassy knolls stretching out as far as the eye can see, the collection plays out as a series of eureka moments, diving into a dysfunctional unknown with the power of self-belief coating each latex cape and gaping trouser leg.
Reflecting on Green’s enduring relationship with Kate Bush, we revisit the designer’s HERO 25 interview in which he speaks about her influence through his work and life.
GALLERYCraig Green FW18 / photography by Amy Gwatkin
In conversation with Simon Chilvers inside HERO 25 about the one superstar Craig Green would love to collaborate with:
““When they ask me what celebrities I’d like at the show, I always say Kate Bush, I’d love to do anything for her. Make something, do her artwork for an album.” He traces this fascination back to the age of eight when he thinks it was on Stars in Their Eyes [a TV show featuring famous musical impersonations by members of the public] that he heard Wuthering Heights, though he says it was Babooshka that first stuck with him.
He says that when he looks back at the brand’s campaigns, he always makes connections to Bush’s work. You can see it in the cover of Wuthering Heights where Bush is hanging from a pole, or in the video for Breathing where a group of people emerge from water in white outfits that definitely have something of the CG’s about them. It’s also evident in the way Bush can, at one minute, be singing about washing machines, the next having sex with a snowman or referencing Emily Brontë. Her character- driven imaginative approach chimes with Green’s own. There is also a childlike innocence about both artists. Green will pepper many of his conversations with references to things you’d make as a child. He said about FW18: “It’s like when you’re a kid, and you imagine a tent can fly.” This could easily be a Bush video concept or lyric.”
On the music he had on repeat while making his SS21 collection
“”Covers of Radiohead songs on a piano by Christopher O’Riley. Kate Bush. That’s always my go-to music. If everything is annoying me, I just put Kate Bush on. I think her music relates most to what the work is about. She always kind of explains what the brand is about. [Pauses, breaks a big smile]. The brand isn’t about Kate Bush! We’re not a Kate Bush-themed brand but… [laughs]. The way that she explores and looks at things. She can go between being very serious and very analytical about something or being really innocent about something, but somehow both are equally conceptual. She sees possibilities in everything. She has a curious approach to everything, and I think that is always what we try to do. I like the storytelling aspect of her work.””