Europe’s fashion squad turned out Sunday morning to cheer on Craig Green at his first Paris show, a big move for the designer, the most promising talent to emerge from London Fashion Week Men’s.
Among those perched on the long white benches in the all-white venue were Pierpaolo Piccioli, Clare Waight Keller, Charles Jeffrey, Michèle Lamy, Dover Street Market’s Adrian Joffe, an early supporter of Green’s, and Trino Verkade, who worked closely with Green at Sarabande, the Lee Alexander McQueen foundation.
Green’s show, a mix of the cerebral and the everyday (Venetian blinds, tourniquet rubber and crinkly packaging material) stood up to the occasion, even if many of his clothes will be quite a challenge to wear.
The designer is known for his frame-like constructions around the body, use of industrial materials and his science fiction-meets-the-Middle-Ages esthetic. For fall he looked at packaging and baggage, literal and emotional.
Hence all the padding and gorgeous layers which added a feminine touch to Green’s hard-edged styles. Satiny or velvet ruffle bibs were layered over olive military-style tops and trousers, while long cashmere tunics — in periwinkle, burnt orange or bordeaux — were padded at the front and back. The latter fell somewhere between monastic and ancient warrior.
Not everything here was soft and padded: Green made lightweight suits from crinkly, rustling Tyvec — “They’re noisy fabrics — you can hear them coming,” said Green, who also added thick shoelace fringes to boxy shirt suits with denim insets.
At times, it was poetic — especially the white tunic suits with wildflower silhouettes and the sheer capes adorned with padded flowers. At times, it was bonkers, notably the vivid tent-like constructions that closed the display.
Some people can’t help wearing their heart on their sleeve, but Green wears everything — sleeping bags, shoelaces, even window blinds: Difficult to pull off, but thought-provoking all the same.