Remember the inflatable backpacks of the 90s? Miniature, bubble-esque and in various 90s metallic hues, these accessories represented what the decade in fashion was about: vibrant colour, innovative materials and a playful attitude. What about a lilo? The perfect on-pool inflatable lounger for those days where you just want to relax? Airbed? You get the picture. In case you weren’t aware, Craig Green just bought the inflatable back in fashion – literally.
Showing outside of fashion week’s scheduled programming in London, Craig Green returned to the fashion circuit with a show that said ‘I didn’t come to play’. What resulted was a collection of bold, sculptural pieces that would be as at home on display in a museum, as they were strolling down the catwalk this morning. Silhouettes were unusual, layers were rife and colour palette unrestricted.
It’s an odd task trying to pick standout looks from a collection so varied as this one. What opened with an orange-hued monogram two piece look (including matching balaclava and clogs), quickly made way for a couple of relatively understated looks: layered navy and black constructions, complemented with a flash of cream in the accessories department.
Later, silhouettes became larger-than-life. An all black look featured leather straps crossed across the chest, but all eyes were drawn to the cape – surpassing the model in height and width, peaked at the top in a huge triangular point. This was contrasted with a similar construction in cream, with oversized leather draping that both engulfed the model entirely, and that was remnant of a wedding veil – if the bridal dress code was fetish. The effect though, is of a newfound sense of power: Green’s models are coiled around, crowned and encompassed in his “swelling silhouettes…riveted with a determined new optimism”.
Elsewhere, Green demonstrated his impressive command over the colour wheel, pairing a mint green fluffy balaclava and scarf with chocolate brown matching jacket and trousers, and offering mustard yellow knits which boasted red fur cuffs. Texture was considered too, with the show notes explaining that “revealed through touch, dark and fuzzy forms become solid and lasting constructions, abstract emblems gain functionality, and most significantly, hidden depths of densely layered textures – raw and sensitive in nature, begin to emanate from opening edges”.
However, as hinted at, the indisputable stars of the show were the inflatables. Part of sweater vests, jackets, bags, or even just comprising the whole garment, Craig Green’s inflatable display breathed a breath of pumped air back into fashion today. One in particular was shaped almost like an anatomical heart with protruding points, whilst others were fashioned into more abstract shapes. One looked suspiciously like a travel pillow in form and material, prompting questions about the continued impact of travel on this season. Even the shoes were inflatable – showcasing Green’s collaboration with adidas, models walked in a series of inflatable shoes, boots and slippers that guaranteed that they tread lightly. We’re here for it.