London designers have been softening and brightening up their collections, layering on the color, texture and embellishment as they create new shapes for the evolving 21st-century man.
All of a sudden, labels like Supreme and Palace are starting to look old, spare and almost puritanical with their minimalist logos and lack of any real ambition in design. By contrast, London men’s designers are moving on, eschewing logos and hoodies and adding much-needed flair to their customers’ closets.
One pioneer is Craig Green, whose color-soaked collection was filled with little mirror adornments, fringes or fluttery tabs, and paper-doll-style cutouts on jackets or ethereal one-piece suits.
His textures were silky, as in the bright blue or bottle green softly padded suits with embroidered starbursts that made their way down the black runway at Old Billingsgate Market. Other suits were pleasantly bumpy to the touch because of the underwear elastic stitched into them, while work wear pieces were adorned with little round mirrors edged with embroidery or with trellis-like details at the back.
There was a generous helping of pattern and print, too, with Green splashing PacMan style digital patterns on the backs of sweeping, fringed gingham robes, or printing real-size images of the naked body onto dark textured suits.
Green poked around a variety of times, places, cultures and objects, drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as naïf cutout Mexican Easter flags, Frankenstein bodies, Egyptian mummies and the power of the mirror to expand and reflect.
“There was the idea of a mirror being full of possibilities in the way in which you look at yourself and at the world and how things could be,” said Green, who was dressed in his usual uniform of boxy black workwear. “I liked the idea that all of these things didn’t have to be from one place.”
Green also unveiled a long-awaited collaboration with Adidas, and the lineup of colorful, textured footwear matched the hues of the collection. The runway shoes, with their nubby soles and pools of contrasting color, were a first taste of Adidas Originals by Craig Green, and stockists and prices will be revealed later this year.
Green described the shoes as having a ghostly feel, but also said they resembled armor, and “a weird lizard,” further proof this man is not in the business of minimalism.