Craig Green S/S 2017

The talented designer takes us on an uncharted pilgrimage

Even before I had sat down at my first show on Friday at LCM, three people had told me there was “practically nothing to see” in London. Opinions, ironically, were immediately disproved by a memorable and exploratory show by Craig Green.

The current darling of British menswear, Craig Green, radically reworked many classic menswear garments, breathing in new life with his gutsy cutting and off-beat construction. Or reconstruction rather, since it was as if he had taken apart most of the clothes before stitching them back together – or like a mechanic setting out to rebuild a classic car, but ending up with a dragster.

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The hipster monastic robes at LCM SS 17

There were hipster monastic robes, though done in pinstripe of chalk stripes; or maypole dancers composed on pastel techy nylons and silks. The most dramatical looks were a group of Himalayan nomads in padded jackets and blankets cut into long pareos, topped by faux ski caps. A quartet of Nepalese style wanderers in matelassé Mao jackets and trousers cut up to the thigh stroke me as the most beautiful. They resembled survivors of an earthquake who managed to end up in a great boutique hotel located on the roof of the world.

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Reconstruction at its best

“An uncharted pilgrimage”, commented Green, being the latest winner of the British Fashion Council/GQ Designer Menswear Fund award, worth a juicy 150,000 sterling. It was a very fine show, and a welcome reminder of how truly talented designers can imagine worlds which none of us have seen, or imagined before.

A generous fellow, the designer thanked everyone and the kitchen sink in his program notes, including the delightfully named Mama Man. Despite his late arrival in fashion, he is on record on how much the early shows of John Galliano for Dior in Paris have inspired him.

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The modern interpretation of a Himalayan nomad

Craig Green has been linked with Berluti as a successor to the great Alessandro Sartori, although his revolutionary ideas do not make him seem the ideal casting for this classy house. Quite why a celebrated Savile Row brand has not hired Green is the latest proof of the innate conservatism of London tailors and yet another example of how Continental fashion executives – unlike their UK colleagues – have the chutzpah and vision to sign on important young British talent. Which is what Green is.