Studio Visit: Craig Green

The highly sculptural designer on taking risks and why he believes "a show should be a show"

Craig Green
Craig Green Photography by Jonnie Craig

Last season Craig Green put on a show. His models emerged on the runway like moving sculptures, their faces concealed in pieces of driftwood and their hands covered in black paint. It was one of the strongest menswear shows of the season, Green pushing his self-confessed “clumsy, chunky aesthetic” to new heights. Ahead of the unveiling of his SS14 show tomorrow, we visited the designer in his east London studio to find out more. 

Dazed Digital: Talk me through the process behind each collection?

Craig Green: I always think about what would make a strong visual, whether that visual comes from performance art, sculpture or painting. They’re always the things that I get excited about. I’ll make a line-up on the wall but it will just be blocks of colour. It will always have a strict story to it, like last time everything had a shadow so it was kind of colour, black, colour, black, colour, black and that’s how it started. Later I went on to use navy and cream. There’s always a strict story in it - that’s how it happens and then I fill in the blanks after that.

I feel like a show should be a show. I wouldn’t want to go to a show about real life because I see real life every day. A show should make you feel something, even if you hate it, even if you feel un-nerved or excited by it and I feel like that has been missing in fashion recently

DD: Who are some of the artists and more specifically sculptors that you look at?

Craig Green: Nagi Noda is an artist that I always look at. It’s more books really, I love having books but I don’t want to say their names because I don’t want other people to have them! There was one book that I was really inspired by this season. It’s from the 70s and it’s a children’s paper craft book but they’re really intricately made paper things. Visually it is really odd but they’re just made of nothing and it’s all really naff 70s photos. There are lots of women wearing shredded paper wigs and they’re posing like they’re in a beauty shop. I just love that book and I’ve always had it and I’ve always wanted to do something with it.

DD: So that’s been a big influence for the SS14 collection?

Craig Green: It has been an influence but I don’t think it’s going to be apparent. I just like the idea of something being made out of nothing and that’s something that I like to do. You get the cheapest materials and use your skill to make it expensive. I like things that are made of rubbish, like those fencers were just made out of found fence panels and £10 ones from Homebase.

I think if I had showed my AW13 collection in Paris it wouldn’t have even battered an eyelid. I showed in London and people were so angry and uproared. The Daily Mail was furious, they wrote like three articles on it!

DD: And will there be another sculpture element this season?

Craig Green: Yes, but it’s a risk.

DD: Why do you think it’s a risk?

Craig Green: I feel like a show should be a show. I wouldn’t want to go to a show about real life because I see real life every day. A show should make you feel something, even if you hate it, even if you feel un-nerved or excited by it and I feel like that has been missing in fashion recently.

DD: I think even more so in menswear…

Craig Green: Yeah, more so with menswear. Menswear’s a funny one, especially London. I think if I had showed my AW13 collection in Paris it wouldn’t have even battered an eyelid. I showed in London and people were so angry and uproared. The Daily Mail was furious, they wrote like three articles on it!

Craig Green will debut his SS14 collection during the MAN show at LC:M on Sunday 16th June

See all our latest features, interviews, and show reports from SS15, as it happens

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