craig green, london's showman
Bobby Abley, Alan Taylor and Craig Green combine to form the triptych of talent that is MAN. With the autumn/winter 14 show just a few days of final touches away, we went to each of the designers at their busy East London studios and had a poke around...
Craig Green by Piczo
From his standout collection at the Central Saint Martins MA show to his two seasons with Fashion East, he's hidden his models away inside exploded assemblages of tie-dyed cardboard boxes, under shattered wooden masks, behind flat black canvases with protruding crosses. Young men walk through the backstage wearing wonderfully tailored all black everything, themselves painted totally black, trying not to smudge everything they touch. And while we're all lusting after Craig's sporty black jackets and glossy tracksuit bottoms, it's his surrealist, psychedelic provocations that make him a designer like no other.
What's the last text message you sent?
"Can u check outside the front, I think there is a delivery there from DHL.xx."
What's been the proudest moment of your career to date?
Central Saint Martins MA show and my first MAN catwalk show for autumn/winter 13.
What's the best fashion after-party you've attended?
The Kenzo after-party in Paris for menswear spring/summer 14 was pretty epic.
What's your favourite i-D cover of all time?
What's the name of the street you live on, and what's the name of the street you were born on?
Colindale Avenue. Colindale Avenue.
What's on your fashion wish list right now?
Raf Simons x Adidas trainers.
What's your most cherished outfit?
Black t-shirt and black jeans.
What's the perfect date outfit?
Black t-shirt and black jeans.
What's your favourite colour?
What can you tell us about autumn/winter 14?
We design by thinking about what we'd be excited to see in a show at that moment. This collection clashes utilitarian with ornateness. function with the unfunctional, traditional and new. It's grounded in tradition because we were conscious of it not being seen as too faddy as there's a lot of that around. The challenge is always to do something that is not expected.
Do you feel added pressure as this is your last MAN show?
We always put ourselves under pressure. We try to change it up and push it each season, we don't want to stick to what we've done previously. We don't want to be just one thing. I think there's a fear in fashion to move away from what you're known for but it's good to feel uncomfortable and scared at times. I'm scared but it's exciting.
Your shows are always exciting.
Thanks. For me, it's important for a show to be a show. It's really rare now that I look through catwalk photos and dream of being there. Which shows excite you? There are very few like John Galliano's couture. any and every Comme show or the recent Rick Owens show.
What's your first show memory?
Gareth Pugh was the first every show that I went to, I rushed from CSM to make it and we were the last to get in, it was amazing, my heart was pounding. Shows should make you feel something special and that's what we strive for
What excites you about the future of London menswear?
There's such a camaraderie amongst London menswear designers, we support each other. I started out just at the beginning of London Collections: Men, I've been lucky because I get to sell at the time of everyone else and there's a real platform and network of support through Fashion East and CFE. It's exciting to be a part of it.
Text Dean Kissick & Steve Salter