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Why would I ever wear that?

Craig Green is a young, multi-award-winning British clothing designer who makes things you would never wear. But the best menswear catwalk shows don’t showcase clothes people would actually wear, they’re about exhibiting ideas. 

Green’s label was only established five years ago, shortly after he left fashion school, and his line at London Menswear Collections was derided by the press. “WHAT A PLANK!”  screamed the Daily Mail beside a shot from Green’s catwalk show.

Fashion model and LCM ambassador David Gandy dug out Green on television, while he was supposed to be promoting the event.

Both were effectively attempts to marginalise Green to the realm of ‘fashion’, pronounced in the way that someone in Zoolander might say it. But that’s not really what his clothes are about. 

Craig Green was raised just outside London and he describes himself as a “typical suburban kid who drank in the park”. His clothing is abstract, androgynous and he uses his catwalk shows to trigger wider debate than the reductive “would I wear this?” conversation.

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At a Craig Green show the clothing, accessories, music and lighting are all used to dramatic effect, as he uses clothes we wouldn’t wear to provoke questions about the world we live in. 

Historically, many of the clothes that make their way into high-street stores were inspired by concepts first seen on the catwalk. This is something we all accept in other industries, such as the car business. Just as concept cars at motor shows have little in common with the cars we drive, but inform those we buy in the future, so a few of the ideas developed on the catwalks might catch the wind and reach the high street in a few years’ time. It might be a colour pattern, a printing technique or a cut that becomes very much part of the future.

As more and more major and mainstream labels release unisex lines, this could well be the case for Green whose work has a loose approach to gender.

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Alongside his label work, Green has also landed the role of clothing designer for the movie Alien: Covenant (see p 32). He picks up the mantel from HR Giger, the artist turned set designer whose illustrations were the basis for the clothing used in Ridley Scott’s 1979 original. 

Craig Green’s a name you might hear more and more frequently. He’s the kind of talent that might one day be recruited by a major fashion house and then get really good at creating clothing with a more commercial agenda, but for now expect to scratch your head at more billowing, strapped, angular business.

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Photos Rex Features and PA

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