Known for his DIY-driven prints and silhouettes, Craig Green's MAN AW14 collection didn't disappoint back in January. Layered, hand-printed skirts and washed-out, tapestry effects were a pared down, romantic switch-up from the tie-dye wooden sculptures of SS14. Watch below as Amy Gwatkin and Luke Farley's short film takes you on a whirlwind journey through the intricacies of hand-painting those designs in collaboration with Helen Price and read up on the inspirations behind the collection.
You're obviously very big on the DIY side of prints and textures hence the focus on hand-printed for this collection – would you consider this your signature now or can we expect something totally different next season?
Craig Green: The hand-made style of the prints for the past two season have almost been a reaction to that craft element becoming so lost in recent years. Everything had become so digitalised and easily reproduced that we thought it important to react against that. There will always be a strong textile element to what we do, but not necessarily always in this way, it is important not to become repetitive.
In terms of the dye you use, is it a trial and error process for you or do you always have a very clear shade in mind?
Craig Green: We spend a lot time sampling – the technique, the colour, the tone and the end feel of the fabric etc. – sometimes months, in an attempt to get all the elements right. This is kind of natural when doing printing and dying by hand, it can so easily go wrong, so it takes a lot of pre-planning.
You've mentioned that you like the risk factor to be present when you're designing – where does the shock/risk factor lie in this season for you?
Craig Green: We don't make things to purposefully shock people. We feel for every designer it is important to always attempt to challenge, and I guess challenging is a risk a lot of the time. The extreme silhouette and the prints themselves were probably the main risk factor for AW14.
Which artists did you look to for inspiration? You referenced a kind of tapestry look evoking Persian rugs – where did that spring from?
Craig Green: We looked a lot at persian rugs, we knew that we wanted something that looked like a 'labour or love' or like it had been obsessively made and overworked. Also something that was very intricate and had a sense of opulence about it - I guess in the end we liked the fact that it was how textiles and prints used to be made - and seemed faraway from what anyone else is doing.
Have you ever been tempted to move your shows to another city or is London still the most exciting place for you to be showing? You've mentioned in the past how the reaction to your SS14 collection wouldn't have caused such a stir if it had been in Paris…?
Craig Green: I think its a very exciting time to be a part of London Menswear and LCM - it seems to have grown such pace and attention of the past few years. Although i think it would be exciting to also show in another city at some point.
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