Every designer – every good one, anyway – brings something unique to the fashion table. What the Fashion Awards’ exceptionally talented British Menswear Designer of the Year Craig Green offers is a certain romanticism and poetry – and his SS17 campaign, revealed here, is totally indicative of this.
Unveiled just weeks after his latest (AW17) show at London Fashion Week: Men’s, where the designer debuted an exquisite collection featuring “English pub carpet meets Aladdin” Arabic patterns, this campaign is soaked in that romanticism.
“It’s what the brand has always been about,” says Green. “The idea of uniforms and people en masse. (The campaign) was based around this idea of a big, destructive mass of bodies – mangled together a bit like a car crash. I guess there’s a sexual energy (too), if you look at the way they’re intertwined, but it was more about the beauty and the aggression of their movements.”
“We just thought there was something beautiful in that idea of religious iconography – but an aggressive, abstracted car crash one” – Craig Green
Shot by Jack Davison (who Green chose because of the “delicacy of light” of his work), styled by Dazed’s Robbie Spencer, and art directed by Ben Kelway, the images features a group of not models but dancers, who were selected and directed by award-winning choreographer James Wilton. “The references that (Wilton) had were car crashes, rugby scrums and sports imagery,” the designer recalls.
While sports imagery might have been a reference, the bodies bear a likeness to history paintings – Delacroix’s “Raft of Medusa” springs to mind. And Green was indeed drawing on the annals of art history, specifically Renaissance work and religious iconography such as depictions of Mary Magdalene. Lit to look like scenes, the merging of colours and grading makes this painterly effect of the images all the more potent.
“We just thought there was something beautiful in that idea of religious iconography – but an aggressive, abstracted car crash one,” he says. “And the whole collection is about saturated and desaturated (colours), so that’s why we used the lights.”
While this campaign and his latest collection are done and dusted, Green and his team are already working on the next show, as well as a couple of collaborations which for now he’s keeping completely under wraps. Exciting – watch this space.