Just after his Russian/robot BA graduation at Central Saint Martin's, English designer Craig Green was asked to create a window for Kokon To Zai and has since won the New Era big prize using letftover pieces from his collection for his headpieces. Having interned at Walter Van Beirendonk in Antwerp, Green is now busy working on his MA. Dazed talks to this true Londoner about his boyhood fantasy world.
Dazed Digital: Where are you from/where do you live?
Craig Green: Both my parents are English and I am originally from northwest London well I say originally, I've never really left.
DD: How did you become interested in fashion and why menswear?
Craig Green: I kind of accidentally got into fashion; I started my foundation course at Central Saint Martins wanting to become a portrait painter, but a lot change in my time there and ended up on the degree course studying fashion design. I originally started designing for women – but I think you have to be a certain type of man to make good womenswear, and I am not one of them. Menswear just makes more sense – and the clumsy, chunky aesthetic of my work I find just works better on a man.
DD: Tell us about your internship in Antwerp with Walter van Beirendonck.
Craig Green: My internship with Walter was amazing! He is one of my design hero's and even meeting him was exciting enough, but to be able to work closely with him and experience his design process was amazing. Walter is an extremely creative person and a great teacher, I learnt a lot there and I met some fantastic friends in Antwerp.
DD: What is your graduate collection about?
Craig Green: My graduate collection is based on a folk Russian robot character, whilst taking influences and references from old tins toys, sexual fantasies and home made fancy dress. I was really interested in taking influence from folk dress and somehow re-translating them into mechanical and masculine fabrication techniques. My works always seems to be centered around boyhood fantasy, I’ve always thought that fashion is a form of escapism and believe that there should always be an element of fantasy and adventure when I design. Another point that has always interested me is ideals of masculinity and D.I.Y, I think growing up around so many tradesmen and my dad being a plumber has somehow influenced me.
DD: How did your window display for Kokon To Zai come about?
Craig Green: I was asked to create a window display for Kokon To Zai directly after my graduate show. I ended up, alongside one of my pieces – suspending potatoes on invisible thread to make them look like raindrops – the effect looked surprisingly good and after a few weeks they started to sprout as in was the middle of summer they also slightly smelt.
DD: Who is your favourite designer and why?
Craig Green: My fashion design hero's are Walter van Beirendonck, Henrik Vibskov and Bernard Wilhelm, I love what they do and really think they have paved the way from new and experiential menswear. At the moment I think the most exciting people to watch are Louise Gray and Meadham Kirchoff. But there are also a lot of young emerging designers doing really exciting things - Andrea Cammarosano, Joost Jansen, Eloise Jephson and Helen Price to name just some.
DD: What plans do you have for the future?
Craig Green: I’ve been lucky enough to be offered a place on the Master course at Central Saint Martins, so this is my future plan for the moment.
Photography by Vincent Levy at Recession Studios