We chat with the young fashion designer about his whirlwind entry into the fashion scene and where he finds inspiration
Having graduated from Central St Martins School with his MA in February 2012, Craig Green is relatively new to the fashion design scene, but his already definite style has captured the attention of critics—as well as ours when we discovered his work in the "Arrrgh! Monstres de Mode" exhibition at Paris' Gaité Lyrique. While in school Green collaborated with major brands like Adidas and Bally on footwear, and worked with his unique vision under Walter Von Beirendonck and Henrik Vibskov before starting his own label. Most recently nominated for a prestigious Designs of the Year award from the London Design Museum, Green talked to us about his process.
"I was never interested in fashion at young age," says Green. "I came from a very normal family of people who were tradesmen. I always loved making stuff and kind of got into fashion by accident after wanting to study fine art." Combining the inherently functional nature of designing clothing with that artful spirit the designer creates collections underscored by a fantastically chimeric intrigue.
Despite their seemingly elaborate, sculptural construction Green's pieces are designed with the human body in mind, his process a response to the ever-present challenge of the need for natural movement while exploring more existential notions of concealed identity. Past collections—which, Green admits, tend to come from his feeling that "it's good for people to feel unnerved"—have been presented on models hidden behind plank-like masks and curtains suspended from fez hats, or seemingly built within houses on legs.
"My work is always centered around ideas of boyhood fantasy and adventure, and this continues to be a massive fascination of mine," says Green. "I always start a collection or project with an idea of a strong visual, this may come from art, stories, horror or a mix of influence and then the ideas seem to grow from there."
With an emphasis on craft and raw materials, Green also consistently plays with basic opposition in his designs, playing matte against shiny, torn shreds in delicate finishes, and high-contrast black-and-white combinations. As a young designer he represents an emerging generation in fashion distancing itself from tradition in the mixing of media and inspiration and embedding unexpected art forms and craftsmanship to blur the lines of apparel. "People need to test and break boundaries like many have done in the past," says Green. "Unless people take risks nothing will ever change or move on."
In addition to his work on display in the "Arrrgh! Monstres de Mode" exhibition, two costumes from Green's MA collection are on loan from the Atopos collection and are on display at the London Design Museum through 7 July 2013. Images courtesy of Craig Green.