Few designers have a vision as distinctive as Craig Green, whose “nomadic men” have been a consistent point of reference throughout his career. As the years have passed, his profile has grown exponentially – which maybe explains why the usually London-based designer decided to show at the tail-end of Paris, just a day before couture came to town.
There was an undeniable couture sensibility to these creations, which often looked more like sculptures than clothes. Early looks bore his design signatures: protective, padded tops weighed down with overized pockets, slightly slouchy, tailored trousers and bucket hats with strings hanging loose all gave the impression of an intrepid explorer, whose outfits doubled up as lightweight armour.
Then came a series of more complex looks. One resembled an army vest, intricately braided at the hest with khaki silk. Some came with horizontal strips of structured fabric, which jutted out to create an exaggerated exoskeleton offset by wavy, curve-cut trousers. Another highlight was made from a fabric which resembled a fishing net, slashed open to expose shoulders and designed to creep over the model’s head like a makeshift hood.
Later looks were comparatively simple; long sheaths of fabric printed with the beautiful graphic outlines of flowers in various hues. But little could prepare the audience for a segue into Green’s most couture-like creations yet: a series of vibrant, full-length looks seemingly spliced together from segments of sunset-hued tents, whose semi-transparent canvas blurred models’ faces. Construction rods poked out like DIY crinolines, threaded together with neon bungee cord which sometimes exposed glimpses of the body beneath.
It had all the impact of couture, but filtered through the lens of Green’s famed nomads. The impression was one of makeshift designers piecing together an ethereal vision from scraps they found as they went along – and, ultimately, doing a spectacular job of it.
GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show