Men's Fashion Week: How Craig Green conquered menswear

Men's Fashion Week: How Craig Green conquered menswear
From BBC - January 7, 2018

For most of us, January is the month you can finally relax.

Christmas is done and dusted, New Year is out of the way, and you can watch half your friends attempt regimes with names like Dry Veganuary.

But if you are a menswear fashion designer, it's a different story.

While most of us have been in a post-Christmas stupor, they have been busy finalising their latest creations after months of painstaking work in preparation for London Fashion Week Men's (LFWM), which returned this weekend.

The event was established in 2012 and now runs twice a year, a month ahead of the main Fashion Weeks.

And few catwalk shows attract as much attention as Craig Green's.

The 31-year-old, who has been named British Menswear Designer of the Year for the last two years in a row, premieres his latest collection on Monday - the last day of LFWM.

Sitting down with BBC News just before Christmas, Green seems remarkably chilled out - but a great deal of work has gone into his latest collection.

"It's a very long process," he says. "Because the shows are six months apart, we start planning a month after the last show.

"But it's continuously changing, we order fabrics, we get things back that we think are going to be great, and then we see them, we are cutting them up, changing them, developing them in the studio.

"It's a five-month process, and we work long hours!"

But, judging by the press Green has received in recent fashion weeks, the work is paying off.

The Financial Times described his shows as "a highlight of the London menswear schedule", while GQ's style editor Luke Day recently said: "It's the quiet confidence of his work that defines him as the most exciting new menswear designer of our time."

For someone who only set up his own label in 2012, shortly after graduating from Central Saint Martins college, Craig's star has risen rapidly.

He was enlisted by Ridley Scott to design costumes for 2015's Alien: Covenant, and his creations have been worn by the likes of Rihanna, Will Ferrell, Jay-Z and Drake.

"We were asked to create something custom for the opening look of Rihanna's tour," Green explains.

"But someone like Jay-Z, he just bought that T-shirt, so we did not know about that until we saw it. Sometimes they just go into a store and buy it."

Big names aside, Green says his biggest thrill often comes from seeing people in the street wearing his clothes.

"I remember after the first collection, I was walking past Liberty's and I saw someone wearing one of our knitted hats, and I did not know them, they were not a friend or fashion journalist, and I remember how weird it was.

"And to realise that that person made a conscious choice to go into a shop and buy it, that's very strange in the beginning, but also exciting."

Green's success and critical acclaim are particularly notable for the fact he "did not come from an art or fashion-based family".


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