Human Tents at Craig Green, London Fashion Week Men's AW18

"We wanted to make a human tent. Most of it looked like you could fly, like when you're a kid and you think about the future."

Craig Green established his namesake label in 2012, after completing an MA at the prestigious Central Saint Martins. Since then, he's done nothing but push the boundaries and lead the way for the London menswear scene. Just last month, he won British Menswear Designer of the Year at the 2017 British Fashion Awards for the second year in a row. His most recent collection, shown on the final day of London Fashion Week Men's only proved my point as to why Green is not only one of the most highly regarded talents in London, but worldwide. 

"It's like you're seeing something in a photo, but you don't know what the clothes are made from." - Craig Green on his starting point for the collection.

This collection was both beautiful in aesthetic and in craftsmanship, and arguably his most complex and complicated work to date. As with a lot of Green's work, it consolidated the past before looking upon a new horizon. Craig said he was thinking like a child. "When you're younger and you don't know many things, it's so much freer," he recalled. This would lead onto the vast array of techniques present in the collection. "At the beginning, it was folding and forming. There were T-shirts that had eaten shirts and were trapped inside of them." Garments were framed by excess fabric - Green's collections have that same emotion you usually feel with art. His Spring Summer 2015 collection, reduced the front row to tears. "It's never intentional to make an emotional show, but everyone works on it so intensely. The idea is always a feeling, a concept," he says quickly before adding"without sounding too arty."

In the six-year time period that Craig has been designing for his label, he has become a pioneer for sculpture on the runway. It's something he's always explored. Both his BA and MA collections at Saint Martins featured sculpture on the models, remember the big black houses? sure you do. Many of Craig's early collections featured wooden sculptures mounted on and strapped to the body, remember 'fence face' of AW13? The silent protests at SS15? What am I thinking, of course you do. In the past two seasons, they made a triumphant return. I write as I try to contain my excitement. In Green's words, "it was like you'd taken your mum's old curtains and tried to make them into a jet ski." They were incredible.

The quilted outerwear pieces that closed the show were an obvious continuation of the patchwork, paradise scenes that closed Craig's Spring show. These floor-length hooded parkas came with chevron shapes, reminiscent of medieval Celtic flags, which Green said were of houses joining together. "We wanted to make a human tent," said Green. "Most of it looked like you could fly, like when you're a kid and you think about the future."

As part of last season, Craig Green launched a Core collection, made up of commercial versions of Craig's signature pieces. Quilted workwear jackets, parkas, shirts with straps, denim, bouclé sweaters etc. Following in the footsteps of the commercial success from the likes of Rei Kawakubo and Rick Owens, this allows for maximum creativity and uncompromising experimentation for Craig Green on the runway. Not forgetting Rick's wife Michèle Lamy was sat front row.

It's Green's ability to explore both ends of the spectrum in terms of commercialilty and the extreme showpieces that keep you in awe, it's the reason behind his success thus far, and what will keep Green's business a flourishing one. 

Images Courtesy of Dazed Digital and Vogue Runway

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