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Craig Green SS20 London Fashion Week Mens LFWM Dazed
Backstage at Craig Green SS20Photography Christina Fragkou

Late-night YouTube mystery video binges inspire Craig Green for SS20

The London designer is all of us

After the likes of Mowalola Ogunlesi, Saul Nash, Art School, and Martine Rose showed their latest collections over the course of the weekend, today marks the last day of the SS20 menswear season (in London at least).

Claiming his usual spot this morning was Craig Green, who welcomed his legions of fans (many of who were slightly damp, given the torrential rain) to a space in Billingsgate Market in East London. Housed deep underground, the vaults in which the designer chose to present what he’d been working on for the last six months were stark and slightly foreboding, with the mirrored catwalk at the centre of the room creating the illusion that we might just be floating somewhere in space.

When it came to the collection, Green explains that he had wanted to continue his exploration into strength, fragility, and masculinity, only where last season he had been thinking of ‘a man made of glass’ – which represented an individual who had reached the perfect balance of fragility and strength and assumed his final form – this time around, his man was looking inside himself, gazing deep into a mirror in a moment of introspection as he contemplated his mortality.

Sounds dark, right? Well, no, not as dark as you might think. As always, the London designer managed to balance darkness and light, as he explained backstage he had been thinking about the ways in which a life is celebrated, what happens to the body after death, and the protective coverings and ritualistic layers used to encase it, as seen in plastic, iridescent cut-out suits (“like bodybags!”), and thick, papery coats.

Customs from around the world also played into the collection, as Green referenced Mexican Papel Picado flags, the mirrors placed on the floor in Turkey and the Middle East to ward off evil spirits, and even Egyptian death rituals. “It’s such a strange thing, the idea of being put into a tomb when you pass,” the designer explains. “All the way through your life, you’re never that protected!”

As well as a new sneaker collaboration with adidas, elsewhere a series of leather trousers, coats, and vests, run through with panels of knitted rib featured. “I watched a documentary on the BBC when they pulled back a woman’s skin, and the muscles, the flesh under the breast looked like these flowers in bloom,” Green recalled. In the garments, the rib (which Green explained resembled something akin to tendons and sinew) fought against the leather (the skin), as he drew inspiration from anatomical drawings and sketches, while satin jackets and loose pants featured structural embroidery which rendered them almost skeleton-like. 

As the models took their final lap of the runway and Green appeared to take his bow, the soundtrack switched from a Holly Herndon track to “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus, which made sense given its connotations with skin-harvesting psycho-killer Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs.

When it came down to it, though, the choice of track was less related to the inspiration behind the show and more to do with the fact Green has been watching a lot of trashy conspiracy theory and mystery videos on YouTube of late. “I saw this one about Q Lazzarus going missing, as well as loads about Egyptian mysteries, and I liked the mystery that was attached to “Goodbye Horses”. But it doesn’t literally have to mean goodbye, it can be about losing your senses,” he finishes. “The idea that it doesn’t have to be the end – there can be something more.”