After a two-year absence from the runway, since his Paris show in January 2020 just at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Craig Green is back in full force and turned some of the most uncomfortable materials into the hottest looks for fall.
The fall 2022 collection he presented Wednesday in an about-to-be-torn-down warehouse close to London City Airport, near his studio, was arguably the strongest of his almost decadelong career.
Subversive, borderline sexual ideas and inside-out dramatic styles in vibrant colors were on offer. Yet there were many practical pieces, too, like a simple black raincoat or a beige trench, underneath all that theatrical styling.
The opening looks featured jackets and trousers with patches of mohair sticking out that can be folded and zipped into a bag, which models also carried in the following looks.
“Like the circles on the jacket. They zip into the back of the jacket and it creates a barrel and then the top sits together and creates like a backpack and sits together and creates like a bag. So everything is kind of packed into a small space,” Green explained.
It was followed by latex pieces in monotone black, white, blue and yellow, and a slew of shimmering reversible jackets and shirts made with silk, mohair and chenille, which Green deemed “a quite gross fabric.” Giving one the option to show up at work and later a fashion party in just one outfit.
The designer said he wanted to design pieces that can make his customers “feel things again,” even if it’s in the utmost unconventional and “suffocating” fashion. Hence the abundant use of mohair, some of them industrially flocked at a furniture factory; rubber, and inflated body- and head-pieces.
“I always loved the idea of you’d like the way something looks but you don’t like the way it feels or vice versa. I guess that kind of crosses over into a sexual thing as well because sometimes you don’t like to share with people what you actually like. I guess it’s like pleasure and suffocation, in a nice way,” he added.
Green joked that when he decided to use mohair in this collection, the sales team protested strongly.
“People hate mohair and they’re allergic to it and it’s gross, but we thought there was something amazing about the not feeling [good, and] having it pressing against your skin.”
That feeling was best demonstrated at the end of the show, where models walked down the runway in oversize proportion inside-out mohair sweaters, which reminded some fashion nerds of Rei Kawakubo’s “lumps and bumps” spring 1997 collection.
As for the show-stopping inflated pieces, Green said they were inspired by a picture of a man living with an iron lung, where his head was on the outside. Again, something the designer found “dark but nice.”
“I love that they have these holes on the side that it’s for other people to kind of experience,” he added.
The accessories were another highlight. Green said in order to rise above the competition and offer something truly new, he worked with several U.K.-based industrial factories. All of the bags are made at a medical factory that makes anesthetic pumps. A latex factory that specializes in protective gear for deep-sea diving made pocket valves seen poking out of parkas, while a dip molder in Scotland that does covers for tractor gear sticks also contributed to the collection.
Green continued the idea of inside-out with his ongoing collaboration with Adidas. What appeared to be chunky shoe molds on the feet were in fact a pair of Stan Smith inside.
“You don’t see the Stan Smith but only your feet experienced the Stan Smith shapes. It’s not for anyone. It’s just for you,” he said.
As for the timing of the show, the designer explained that showing off-schedule ahead of London Fashion Week was because he wishes to continue to be a part of the Paris Fashion Week Men’s schedule in the future. Green last showed in London in June 2019.