London-based designer Craig Green marks a significant milestone this year as his eponymous label celebrates its 10th anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, Green has launched a special collection for Spring/Summer 2024. This innovative approach aligns with Green's long-standing principle of blending contrasting ideas and themes, creating a fashion universe where pragmatic designs coexist with emotional depth and artistry.
The collection revolves around the concept of duality, exploring the interplay between the external image presented to the world and the underlying essence of humanity. Green's designs embody this intriguing juxtaposition, with garments that feature beautiful color palettes alongside unsettling undertones of masculinity.
Where Green immediately shines is in the ability to take influence from the most unlikely places. In one look that Green described as "Carpet Upholstery men", models are covered head to toe in ornate embroidered fabric with curlicue-patterns. It's as if you are looking at soldiers for a furniture store, being subtly masculine, and slightly unsettling. In several other looks, models donned in plain Green-style suits held padded articulated figures around themselves. Inspired by the wrestling practice equipment, this unlikely accessory offered an intriguing contrast between combat and care.
The influence of Green's godfather, an upholsterer who taught him how to sew, is evident in the collection's abstract forms. The designer pays tribute to this relationship by incorporating elements like padded figures, combining both functionality and decorative elements. In a bold departure from his usual aesthetics, Green embraces a newfound softness in the collection. Floor-length knits and parasol-like structures exude a sense of freedom and playfulness, reflecting the designer's openness to allowing things to exist naturally without constraints.
The anniversary collection serves as a reflection of Green's journey over the past decade. It features rhyming twin looks that explore the idea of mirroring and self-reflection, inviting the audience to contemplate the bittersweet nature of endings and the new beginnings they bring.
In one such look, Green introduces what look could be described as awning men, saying “They’re kind of mirror images of each other. They’re like partners in a way.” And why the hooped, sun-faded awning sculptures? “There’s something amazing about their function in that they can protect from the sun, but they’re also used to attract people. I’ve always loved things that are functional and have a decorative feeling at the same time. I thought there’s something kind of beautiful about that.” These designs encapsulate the essence of the collection: celebrating both beginnings and endings, as they mark the conclusion of ten years while heralding a new era for the brand.
Despite Green's reluctance to focus on his own anniversary, the milestone holds immense significance for the brand. Over the past ten years, Craig Green has garnered international acclaim, winning the British Menswear Designer of the Year multiple times and establishing collaborations with renowned brands like adidas.
As he looks to the future, Green's brand remains stable, independent, and committed to continuous innovation. With a potential foray into womenswear and more exciting collaborations on the horizon, the designer's journey promises to be even more diverse and inspiring in the coming years. Craig Green's 10th-anniversary collection encapsulates the essence of his brand— a harmonious blend of artistry and practicality, masculinity and vulnerability, and a celebration of a decade of creative excellence. As Green ventures into the next chapter of his journey, the fashion world eagerly anticipates the new horizons he will explore.