Olivier Zahm, editor-in-chief of Purple Magazine, once mused,
“Men should keep a distance from fashion to find their own uniform.”
The JOYCE Men’s Trilogy explores the design changes in menswear over three generations. The second interviewee is London based menswear designer Craig Green (CG), who has interpreted Zahm’s quote in its most literal sense, elevating it to another level.
CG: My work has always been based on uniform, a communal way of dressing, almost cult-like. I’ve looked into religious wear, institutional wear such as the military and educational establishments; they all serve a purpose, a function.
Men are really creatures of habit. If their trousers fall apart, they’d buy a dozen of the same trusted design. My signature design is a boxy-cut work wear jacket, which I wear to work every day. It’s not as uptight as a suit but it’s still tailored yet relaxed and makes me feel comfortable.
CG: When I was studying MA fashion design at Central St. Martins, I started with women's design and my work was very masculine. During my fashion course I got to meet Henrik Vibskov and Walter Von Beirendonck, whom I interned for 6 months. They introduced to me a new way of looking at menswear so it made sense for me to become a menswear designer.
Walter is so knowledgeable in history of cultures, fashion and everything. His studio is like a great big library. His depth and breadth in research, his warm personality and the family feeling of the studio – have all been anchor influences on me.
CG: I was fortunate to graduate in 2012 when menswear began to be taken more seriously. Before then there weren’t many proposals in menswear designs. And in recent times there’s certainly less stigma attached to men who are interested in clothes; maybe as society is becoming more receptive of men who love fashion.
Although my designs are based on function and wearability, I always look to inject some drama into my shows. I love working with my long-term collaborator, David Curtis-Ring, on elaborate headpieces for the shows. My tutor once took me to see a Gareth Pugh show, my heart was thumping with such excitement. Who would’ve thought watching models walking up and down a pathway for 3 minutes can be so full of energy! Creating a show is like creating a visual proposal, a fancy escape.
Interview by Lucienne Leung-Davies
Photography by Filep Motwary