Craig Green is ready for the impending apocalypse

Green’s Marauding Traveler Troop has been outfitted for the climate disaster, as part of its first parade in two years

Think back to 2014 and, if you’re a Craig Green fan – and at this point, who isn’t? – you may remember when he brought the fashion industry to tears. The fledgling designer’s poetic and tender Spring-Summer 2015 collection sought to explore the fragile constraints of masculinity, and left typically uncompromising editors to seek out a Kleenex (a necessity further reinforced by the fact that the legend of Central Saint Martins and Green’s own guardian, Louise Wilson, had tragically died away only days before).

Since then, Green has dug a deeper and deeper tunnel into the mysterious workings of traditional masculinity, exploring and unpacking what he found there through esoteric and thought-provoking collections season after season. And while none have known as much infamy as this tearful SS15 presentation, Green’s shows are always special, always moving and always highly anticipated – and his comeback, staged in east London yesterday, hasn’t no exception.

For his first show since January 2020, the designer took over a cavernous industrial building located next to the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery – a veritable soft back, someone with a propensity for poop jokes might suggest. After spending the past two years in various shades of lockdown, Green was once again looking inward, considering ideas surrounding self-preservation, protection and care – first looks on the runway were of the suits of hazardous materials that we saw so often on the news at the start of the pandemic. Rendered in dangerous hues of orange and emergency yellow shot through with flashes of red, the styles were both alarming and rather comfortable – inviting panels of woolly, shaggy bows decorating the hips or making slouch bags utterly touchable. .

Other structural parts for which Green is widely known followed. Two models had apparently draped themselves in stiff black and white rubber sheets, which protruded awkwardly from their bodies, before more tactile looks incorporating chunky mohair sweaters and fluffy, almost shimmering outfits over her piped work clothes follow them closely. In this case, Green had sometimes considered the way we wear things for other people’s enjoyment more than our own — the person touching the pleasingly fuzzy sweater, rather than the person actually wearing it. And so, with that in mind, he returned them.

Other looks incorporated Green’s signature workwear, as he layered utility vests over piped and paneled parkas and wide-leg pants in contrasting hues. But it was the inflatables that really stood out. Many of Green’s “travellers,” as he called them in his show notes, wore inflatables around the catwalk, with bulbous flotation devices slung over their shoulders, carried under their arms, or otherwise incorporated into the clothes themselves (take, for example, a padded pillow sticking out of the neckline of a look).

Although Green revealed he was inspired by old photographs of a man in an iron lung, with the apocalyptic vibes that pervaded the show, his marauder troupe evoked a sense of displacement, their boyish, bloated gear s resembling personal effects. hastily picked up. While there was a sense of optimism in all of this, as the world moves closer and closer to climate catastrophe – and so many people are already tragically displaced – AW22 has also been somewhat underplayed. something much more worrying. In that spirit, Peter Gabriel’s “Here Comes The Flood” created a poignant and emotional rapprochement (When the flood calls / you have no home / you have no walls). And so, not quite tears this time – but certainly, as always, so much to think about.

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