After the loud, vivacious frivolities of Charles Jeffrey the night before, Craig Green’s Monday morning offering - showing in a spacious warehouse in Lambeth - was a welcome reverence to London Fashion Week Men’s. Green’s designs are soothing, often deeply intelligent and honourably humble - the latter still pleasantly surprising considering Green has picked up the British Fashion Award for the second year in a row.
This season, Green showed us both the expected and the unexpected; candied brights, the return of knits, drawstrings and patchworks and the familiar, structural almost altar-like aspects too.
Green had been drawing from 'the dutiful idea of falling in line' and linear patterns and silhouettes were certainly a focal point here, and indeed often are in Green’s work. Looks were trimmed with fin panelling, giving a black linear shadow around each model and forcing the eye to scan in full circle, tubular piping followed up the legs and in some cases onto arms and chest, giving a slightly aquatic aesthetic. As too, did the slim rope ties across the sternum and the layered boxy trouser - the latter reminiscent of foam floats and buoyancy.
Similarly, the set - a huge sprawling blackened out space, with floor-to-ceiling sections and an audience divide down the runway, provided the rhythm of lapping waves as models moved in and out of visibility. In the light, out of the light. In the light, out of the light. The sombre darkness mirrored that of the soundtrack - Van Der Graaf Generator’s House With No Door spoke of knowing lines so well 'I am ready to tell whoever will finally come in of the line in my mind that’s cold in the night' - highlighting Green’s aforementioned explorations.
Beautiful hooded patchwork coats and jackets reminded one of the S/S 18 offerings, but these were less printed and more focal on drippings of string and strong gig lines from neck to hem.
The final looks, the more structural of the pieces, were a continuation from last season, here with bow-like shape and dangling strings, springing as the models walked. There was something romantic in these pieces, they bounced with the quick march of the model as if with intent and purpose, yet there was also a dark emotion to them that felt a little lost at sea.
Crochet patches, almost corset-like in shape and orange in tone, were a welcome addition sat atop slim knits and wide, straight jeans. These were romantic too, they felt a little like delicate life-jackets but perhaps that’s too much of a literal image for Green - he is drawn to more abstract and conceptual references.
As the show drew to a close, it felt as though the audience had let out a peaceful sigh. Consistently silent, consistently strong. Green had done it again - effortlessly stoic, calm and handsome.