Today, Craig Green returns with his new S/S 21 collection for Moncler Genius. The British designer has been part of the creative project, which was launched as an offshoot of the French-founded, Italian-based brand Moncler, since its conception in 2018. Each season, CEO Remo Ruffini invites a selection of designers to take the brand's signature down jacket as their own. The collaborative model has proved instrumental in turning around Moncler's once ailing relevancy in the market; it's also a genius approach which has resulted in some of the most exciting fashion images over the past few years, Craig Green being no exception.
Sharing a focus on function, (Moncler originally being a skiwear brand, and Green's on-going obsession with uniform resulting in a workwear jacket which remains to be one of the most recognisable menswear items around), 5 Moncler Craig Green is always hotly anticipated. Each Moncler Genius project is identified by a number, and Green's 5 stands for 'dress as habitat'. Previous collections have both cocooned and protected the body, also projecting outwards in the form of the architectural sculptures the designer has been renowned for since his graduate collection at Central Saint Martins. The theme of protection may have reigned supreme over the recent A/W 21 season, but finding safety within the confines of uniform is something Green has been exploring since his eponymous brand's launch in 2012.
Green's acute sensibility to, and awareness of the body, results in what may be the designer's most accessible, wearable and commercially viable collection for Moncler Genius so far. Staying true to his design aesthetic, Green has always taken the lightness of Moncler's down jacket, and run with it to great success. This season, Green's boys come dressed in lightweight cottons and nylons; they appear like human kites, and it's as if the wind could sweep them away at any second. Thinking about the contrast between water and land, Green found nature's equivalent in his fabric choices; nylons are both matte and shiny, transparent and opaque. Featuring a new monogram playing both on a frog and a platypus, together with the recurring raft symbol for 5 Moncler Craig Green, the collection features windbreakers, workwear jackets, chinos and shorts in neutral shades of musky olive green and white, together with a vibrant acqua blue, burnt orange and cherry red. The collection also features bags, wallets and phone holders, items which are sure to be popular amongst both Moncler customers taking to the slopes, and Green's urban dweller.
The success of 5 Moncler Craig Green lies in staying true both to Moncler's sportswear DNA, and to Green's own design aesthetic, which is at once self-contemplative and spiritual - Green's own runway presentations are notorious for making show-goers cry. Equally, he's unafraid to make a statement. During previous presentations at the Moncler Genius building, Green has presented his garments as installations. For instance, the A/W 19 collection was mapped out along the archways of a Moncler tunnel, left to billow in the wind. This season, in the absence of a physical show, Green turned to the British outdoors, which was the starting point for the collection. Calling on his close collaborators, the set designers Isabel + Helen, and photographer Dan Tobin Smith, images were released in the run-up to the collection featuring this season's 5 Moncler Craig Green rafts. For the look book, men take a stand in the billowing winds on top of green pastures, set free after months spent stuck inside. For Green, the beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and nature is the future.
We spoke to Craig Green ahead of the collection's release to find out more.
Hetty Mahlich: Has your approach towards designing for Moncler Genius changed or adapted as a result of the past 12 months? If so how?
Craig Green: The starting point for this collection for Moncler came from looking at garments for adventure. It’s about clothing which is made for being in nature, encouraging us to be outdoors. In our previous Moncler collections, the focus was often looking at the future and ideas of transformation, evolving and adapting to our changing environment. But this collection is about what is already here, and how we can exist right now in the natural environment we have around us. It’s about embracing the possibilities within the natural world to propel us forward.
The pieces focus on the feeling of freedom and lightness, as there is a different energy to designing a summer collection for Moncler. In summer, the elements we encounter are different - it tends to be protection needed from exposure to elements like the wind and the sun. The collection still comes from a place of functionality and protection, clothing as a tool for us to work in unison with the environment around us.
HM: How does your design process for Craig Green compare with designing the Moncler Genius collections?
CG: My own label is about the possibilities within different materials, whilst the work I do with Moncler is very much rooted in the brand’s sports heritage, and its signature materials and techniques. I have always enjoyed the focus that comes from designing within such a specific framework, I think this is where true innovation can exist.