There are a handful of designers who manage to create collections rooted in a single concept that are also chock-full of breathtaking looks. Craig Green is well versed in this arena. North London-born Green, who is not yet 30, graduated from Central Saint Martins in February 2012, having received his BA and MFA at the storied institution, and has been making waves with his garments that rely heavily on a balance between conceptual and wearable. After showing the past two seasons with support from Fashion East and Topman for their joint MAN initiative, Green debuted his first collection with a solo show during London Collections: Men, which wrapped up on Tuesday. The menswear designer is certainly no newcomer to success; he has received the L’Oreal Professional Creative Award. He worked with Adidas to customize David Beckham’s shoes for the London 2012 opening ceremony. And he has developed quite a cult following within the industry and beyond.
Green’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection delivered in a way that is relatively more wearable and less conceptual. Oversized linens in bright whites, midnight blacks, and bright and dark blues all had a vibe that Green himself described as "zen." The monochrome color palette was certainly a far crying from the tie-dyed prints we saw last Spring.
Although this collection was not as deeply rooted in the fabric and manipulation of the fabric, as it was in seasons past, Green still conveyed a message, namely via his silhouettes. The looks consisted of layered linen pants and shirts that fit more like robes, reminiscent of ancient priests or samurais with their purity. Once again, Green brought back wooden frames (a la his A/W 2013 debut when models' faces were covered in wooden sculptures). This time the models wore the wooden planks on their back almost as backpacks, which were draped with fabric. According to a press release from the brand, the banners were "a mass exodus toward the brink of abandon". Perhaps that was meant to further the idea of zen with Green seamlessly abandoning his heavy hand for shapes and fabrics that lean more towards conceptual. For Spring, he combined multiple layers of thin, airy linens by way of tops and bottoms on the same look to craft a statement that was effortless in its intent.
Green’s latest collection may not be as abstract as in seasons past, but there was still a defined dance between both concept and wearability; purity and serenity mix with understated opulence in this collection, creating a show that was dramatic in its silhouettes but rather simple in its fabric. Green manages to create pieces that haven’t been done before, like a bright blue coat/skirt combo which features vast amounts of ties and the smallest paneling. Beyond his originality, he also has a knack for creating pieces that evoke something within the viewer, wearer, or both. There was a dark sort of nostalgia that was felt with Green’s latest, and it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Fashion at its finest has always had the power to induce and awaken, and Green’s collections does not fall short in this respect. If Green’s solo debut at LCM says anything about the designer it is that some moments last. One thing is for sure; Green won’t be going anywhere.
GABRIELA LORRAINE is a fashion blogger and writer. She is a fashion merchandising and print journalism student at the University of South Carolina. For more from Gabriela, follow her on Twitter.