Craig Green Celebrates Unsung Heroes at Pitti Uomo SS19

"I'd been looking at cleaners, surgeons, and postmen. They're the people who have your life in their hands. There was that forgotten saviour. I liked the idea that people could become angels in their lives by working hard and doing good."

For the first time in his career, Craig Green presented his Spring 2019 collection at the Boboli Gardens in Florence, he was this season's guest designer during Pitti Uomo -  and what a symbolic, majestic collection it was. This season was about celebrating and honouring the everyday workers in our lives, that quietly surround us with little to no praise for their efforts. In a world saturated with celebrity obsession, this was a really beautiful and poetic touch. "They kind of have your life in their hands," Craig said, "I've always liked the idea that someone can become an angel through doing good in their lives. It puts the value in a person rather than putting value in objects." Craig has been a pioneer of fragile, emotional masculinity from the very beginning, this time suggesting that angels just might happen to walk among us. "Sometimes, the scariest thing you can think of is reality," he said. "And sometimes the best thing you can think of is something you don't know, like an afterlife or a heaven."

Always one to express a twisted fantasy, albeit reality on the runway, Craig recognises that evil co-exists amongst good. He doesn't shy away from it, he accepts it. Insects were flying into the spotlight. Backstage, Craig said he was looking at the monitor, all he could see was mosquitos, a plague looking as if they were about to attack to audience. Craig loves horror films - cast yourself back to his shadows of AW13 or the costumes he designed for one of the biggest horror franchises of all time, Alien. This was most apparent in the wooden human outline structures that shaped some of the models' bodies. They looked like the spirit of someone, but at the same time, a chalk outline present at a crime scene. "That idea of a angel. It also looked like someone following you." Green said. "I always found it interesting that when 10 people are asked to give witness statements, they all say something different."

Acid-washed, line-stitched cotton was developed to look "like static on a TV." Poltergeist or The Ring anyone? These pieces also had contrast colour lycra billowing from the arms or joining the legs: "I thought it was nice that when they walked it looked like someone had cut them out on Photoshop and dragged them into the space." Was that Craig's way of telling us that heaven or hell is a void space? And what that means in Instagram's unattainable-beauty world of today. That Photoshop can solve all of your shallow problems?

Not only was this Craig's first season showing outside the London Fashion Week Men's schedule, it was also his debut collaboration with Nike. "We worked with Nike; it's their Flyknit sneaker fabric, which we made into clothes." Vivid colour panelled knits, they were amongst my favourite pieces throughout the entire collection, they were extremely innovative. Craig isn't afraid to go bold in his colour palette, this time around it was most apparent in the knitted pieces made in collaboration with Nike. "I watched a documentary where someone was talking about how when you put two colours together, they make your emotions feel something else," Green said. "I like when you put a red on top of blue it looks like it's vibrating, the line you can't focus on it."

It was the final flourish of looks that broke new ground for the designer, whilst at the same time, what established Craig as the designer to look out for. Think back to his MA collection at Saint Martins, those digitally printed bleached, acid tie-dye prints? This time however, they came as tabard-like blankets roped together with these blurred, psychedelic, trippy, and transcendent digital prints of Cherubs. Layered with three different types of fabric; football shirt jersey, nylon organza and mesh - when each layer moved, it caused the image to distort slightly. "I thought they looked like a portal, a doorway, an escape to a better place." Craig is very optimistic about everything that's happening in the world, "There's positivity. The idea of hope in some way." Well like with everything Craig Green does, his collections always seem to give us hope.

Images Courtesy of Dazed Digital and Vogue Runway

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