21 posts tagged "Craig Green"
“Real life is very different than being a student,” offered Sara McAlpine, an undergraduate at London’s Central Saint Martins and the editor of the college’s magazine, 1 Granary. “You hit roadblocks—you have to worry about financing and about people with whom you want to collaborate with saying no,” she continued. The second issue of 1 Granary, a publication which was founded by its current editor in chief, Olya Kuryshchuk, in 2013, is about celebrating the pure creativity that comes with studying at CSM. Thus, the sophomore effort is aptly titled “Age of Innocence.” “It might seem a bit kitsch, but we felt it described the time that we’re in,” explained McAlpine. “This is our time to be creative. And as naive as we are, we decided to ask anyone who’s anyone if they want to work with us. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
Smart cookies, those CSM kids, and their no-holds-barred attitude resulted in an issue filled with 240 pages of content (not ads, mind you) that most fully financed titles would struggle to get. Alongside shoots and stories that champion CSM student work, there are interviews with Christopher Kane and Ai Weiwei, as well as striking photographs by Rachel Chandler Guinness and SHOWstudio’s Nick Knight. But these heavy hitters didn’t agree to work with the 1 Granary crew out of charity. “It’s not the Bucket Challenge or anything like that,” McAlpine laughed. “The magazine is a space where established names can let loose. [These people] remember that time when they had to jump hurdles and make themselves known straight out of university. And we’re not tied to advertisers—we’re not dependent on them—so I think they actually found that refreshing.”
A handful of the insiders in Issue 2 reminisce about their time of “innocence” at Saint Martins, a sentiment that’s beautifully illustrated by the above Johnnie Shand Kydd-lensed photo of a young Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo (both CSM alums). But the issue also addresses the future—for instance, budding menswear star and CSM grad Craig Green gives an interview, and the cover features student Louisa Ballou surrounded by her peers. Ballou also appears inside the issue wearing Christopher Kane (below). The abovementioned images debut exclusively here.
The past few years have marked a time of transition for Central Saint Martins: In 2011, the college moved from its storied, dilapidated fashion building on Charing Cross Road to a shiny new campus at King’s Cross, and earlier this year, the Fashion MA program, which launched the careers of designers like Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane, mourned the passing of its beloved course director, professor Louise Wilson. (It’s worth noting that she was a staunch supporter of 1 Granary). Mix in the fact that university fees in the U.K. are higher than they’ve ever been, and one has to wonder: Can CSM continue to be the creative petri dish that birthed the likes of Katie Grand, Hussein Chalayan, and John Galliano? “I think one of the great interviews in our magazine is with [GQ's] Dylan Jones,” said McAlpine, when asked this particular question. “He [recalled] how he walked through the art studios of the new building, and he said it felt exactly the same [as when he was a student in the '80s]. He said the feeling was still there. I think it’s quite poignant for someone like him to walk through 20 years later and say that.”
1 Granary‘s second issue is set to hit SHOWstudio’s London shop on August 28, and will later hit British and international retailers including Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Colette, Bookmarc, and more. The magazine will also be available at 1granary.com for £6.90. So what does McAlpine hope readers take away from the 15,000 copies that will be distributed worldwide? “I want [readers] to realize that London is an incredibly exciting place. That CSM is an incredibly exciting place. I want them to know that there are young people banding together, doing something great for the sake of being creative. I want them to know that creativity isn’t dead, basically. It’s not been killed by commercialism.” Considering what these students have achieved—and how hard they’ve worked to achieve it—they seem well on their way to succeeding in the “real world.” And perhaps we’d all benefit from embracing some of our own youthful innocence.
Last season’s VFiles runway labels, ASSK, Hyein Seo, and Melitta Baumeister, went into the show without much of a presence on the global fashion scene. The designers, who earned their spots through an online competition, came out of it with such retailers as Dover Street Market and celebrity clients like Rihanna. If you still thought VFiles is just here to fill fashion’s missing “weird” quotient, think again.
VFiles has just announced the newest crop of designers for the Spring 2015 show, and Style.com got the first look at the list. The four designers showing at the September 3 show at Webster Hall in New York are Moscow-based Tigran Avetisyan of menswear label Tigran, Tokyo-based Detto Kazuma of menswear label DTTK, New York-based Hygein Hamm of the denim label Hamm, and London-based Dasha Selyanova of womenswear label ZDDZ. Calvin Klein’s Italo Zucchelli, Candy Pratts Price, and stylist Mel Ottenberg are all throwing their weight behind the show this season, acting as judges and mentors for the program. They, along with the VFiles team and the online community, helped select this latest group.
“Pay attention! Power to the fashion people—VFiles is a movement,” says Julie Anne Quay, who founded the digital fashion and cultural hub. “The Internet fashion generation is here to stay, the barriers to entry are disappearing, and becoming your own brand is more accessible and possible than ever,” states Quay, who reports that more and more people are entering the competition after seeing the previous designers’ successful outcomes.
Select pieces from each of the designers’ collections will be available for purchase immediately at the VFiles shop in Soho, where they’ll hang alongside labels like Craig Green and Hood by Air. To learn more about the designers and the upcoming show, click here. Check back September 4 for our full review of the show.
On Saturday, after a two-day closure, Dover Street Market New York, Rei Kawakubo’s seven-floor multibrand fashion wonderland open since last December, celebrated its inaugural “new beginning,” with just-arrived Fall ’14 merchandise and fresh shop-in-shops. Melitta Baumeister, whose career was catapulted when Rihanna wore her oversize black biker jacket in Paris back in March, and Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver are two new additions to the store’s fourth-floor DSM Showroom, which is devoted to emerging designers. They join a roster that includes Craig Green, Jacquemus, Phoebe English, KTZ, 1205, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Proper Gang, Shaun Samson, and Sibling. We checked in with the new recruits and a quartet of the floor’s returning talents to talk about Kawakubo’s lasting influence, their new installations, and the “beautiful chaos” that is DSM.
“The Comme des Garçons campaign collaboration with Cindy Sherman in 1994 stopped me in my tracks. I remember being completely blown away,” Baumeister recalls. “So I’m very happy to be with a group of creators [now] that have a mutual understanding on fashion, to be part of a showroom that believes in the importance of creating new experiences of how fashion can be consumed, in a world of beautiful chaos. To be in an environment where the brand is understood will no doubt give [me] the confidence to go further with bigger dreams.”
HOOD BY AIR (SHAYNE OLIVER)
“Going to the Comme des Garçons flagship for the first time here in New York changed my life, and molded my thought process on creating a fashion brand that is meant for you, and only you,” Oliver remembers. “The shopping experience at Dover Street Market is [likewise] unique and special. I think it really works well with the HBA concept and vibe. We want to make people feel immersed in our world, in the whole experience of the brand. [Our shop-in-shop] is a conversation with our customers outside of the traditional realm of fashion.”
“All the Dover Street Market stores have a totally stand-alone and unique way of working. The amazing and forever-changing interiors make for a dynamic and exciting space and experience,” Green says. “The main idea behind our new Fall ’14 space was to put the highly detailed, hand-painted pieces against the raw quality of untreated wooden structures. We used large hand-painted fabric rugs as hangings to demonstrate what the garments themselves have been cut from.
“DSMNY is different to other stores as it’s not really just a store, it’s a destination and an environmental experience, which heightens, celebrates, and elevates the incredible stock they hold,” English says. “In many ways it’s also a mecca for young creatives justifying and contextualizing the work they’re making; [that's what] the London store was for me when I was studying at Central Saint Martins. We wanted this space to [feel] unexpected, sort of like a surprise or a bit of drama injected into a retail environment. The raw naturalism of the collapsed cliff face against the clothes hanging on the suspended rails—something beautiful and refined in a broken space. I [also] wanted it to represent the dialogue of material, which informs each collection. I worked with art director Philip Cooper. It was about balancing the ethos of how I work creatively with the reality of shopping.”
“The opportunity to completely change the space seasonally allows us to truly represent the season’s ideas and concepts,” Roach says. “Our Fall ’14 space remains minimal with the introduction of new square metal fixtures. We’ve introduced stand-alone, industrial two-arm rails to highlight the collection’s fabrication and construction, which remain fundamental. I would like people to touch and try on the clothes.”
SIBLING (SID BRYAN, JOE BATES, COZETTE MCCREERY)
“DSMNY feels like being in an interactive art space but without any of the pretense,” the Sibling trio says. “It’s been fantastic to see how artists and creatives interpret the Sibling vision each time. We loved collaborating with Uncommon Projects [on the leopard shelving and screen unit], Richard Woods [using the catwalk recolored version of his iconic wood print as wallpaper], and now with artist James Davison. We saw James’ work recently via the journalist Charlie Porter. He’d uploaded a video of James’ window display with moving parts and amazing color. It also felt like he’d had fun doing it. All of which is very much what Sibling is about, so we didn’t think twice about working with him and sent him catwalk pictures and a very relaxed brief. Relaxed because we always like collaborative works to come more from the artist.”
If you are in London this week, I highly recommend—nay, insist—that you stop by Trees & Faces, a pop-up shop launched by up-and-coming designers Luke Brooks and Beth Postle. The store, whose countertops are comprised of Brooks’ artist father’s paint-encrusted tables (his works are on display, too), is set in East London at 99 Morning Lane, and is open through Sunday, July 20. On offer are one-of-a-kind T-shirts hand-painted with Brooks’ trees (he’s lovingly dubbed those “tree shirts”) and Postle’s abstract, freestyle faces. Also for sale are a range of Brooks’ foam “G-O-D-” and flower fascinators, as well as Postle’s leather goods, made in collaboration with Hannah Cope.
Brooks, if you’ll remember, made quite a stir with his Central Saint Martins MA collection back in 2012, when he, along with Craig Green, won the coveted L’Oréal Professionnel award. Since, the designer has built upon his cerebral, largely handmade approach to design. He has presented at London fashion week, been featured in such magazines as Dazed & Confused and Love, and even crafted looks for Lady Gaga. Postle, meanwhile, is the little sister of Brooks’ friend Jenny Postle, another CSM grad who is one half of vibrant knitwear label Leutton Postle. Beth, too, is in the CSM crew, and will complete her MA this fall.
“Aside from immediate visual aspects that cross over slightly, like painterly-ness, I think [Beth and I] work well together for a few reasons,” Brooks told Style.com. “First, we both care about injecting a degree of humor into our work. But equally important is the fact that it’s sincere work, not ironic or glib. The craft of making is very, very important to both of us. And the things we make look like they were made by a person, with feeling.”
Indeed, the shirts have an emotive, genuine quality to them. And the vibrancy of each DIY product reflects the designers’ untainted passion and enthusiasm. “We bounce ideas off each other very well,” said Postle. “We both get excited and love the work we do, which is quite rare.”
While the one-off T-shirts boast a definitive artistic quality, the price points are (thankfully) significantly less lofty than those you’d find in a gallery. Accessories start at £20, while clothes range from £60 to £120. “We wanted to keep the prices as low as we possibly could because the impetus behind this project is an urge to see people wearing and enjoying our things now, in the summer, having fun,” said Brooks. “It is very much in that spirit—an easy spirit.”
Faces & Trees is located at 99 Morning Lane, London, E9 6ND. The pop-up will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sunday, July 20.
“I am scared,” laughed emerging British menswear designer Craig Green. The 27-year-old, who previously presented with Fashion East and Topshop’s MAN initiative, is referring to his very first London Collections: Men solo show, scheduled for 11 a.m. on Tuesday. The runway event is sponsored by the BFC’s Newgen Men. “It’s nerve-racking. It’s just me. Alone. I don’t know if people will even come!” His jitters are understandable, but Green need not worry about the latter. The designer, who graduated from Central Saint Martins’ prestigious MA course back in 2012, is one of London’s most exciting up-and-comers. And his forthcoming show is one of the most anticipated on the calendar.
Green’s collections, which up until last season have incorporated sculptural wooden frames carried by the models, seamlessly combine the artistic and the commercial. They offer clothes that feel fresh and cerebral on the catwalk but that aren’t intimidating on the sales rack. That is in part thanks to Green’s utilitarian sensibility, which he picked up from his very practical north London family—his father is a plumber, his mother a nurse, and his uncle a carpenter.
Green caught the eye of Dover Street Market after his second show—the retailer not only stocks his wares in London, New York, and Tokyo, but also asked him to create an LC:M window installation. He decided to make a giant octopus in the same cerulean hue that will feature in his Spring ’15 lineup. The beast is currently swimming in DSM’s London storefront. But the retailer isn’t the only institution that has recognized Green’s talent. He was nominated for a British Fashion Award last October, was a semifinalist in LVMH’s inaugural Prize for Young Fashion Designers competition, and has collaborated with the likes of David Beckham and Adidas, Grenson and Mr Porter, Topman and Purified footwear. (He has a Champion USA team-up on the way, too.) There’s no arguing that Green’s star is on the rise. And maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t need to be so concerned about his solo debut after all. “It’s actually quite exciting,” he conceded.
Ahead of his Spring ’15 show, Green spoke with Style.com about his vision, his critics, and his dreams, like building a sturdy brand and moving out of his mom’s house.
You’ve basically exploded in the last year. How are you handling all the attention?
More like my head has exploded. I think I’ve aged more in the last two years than I had in the previous ten. I feel very fortunate to not dread coming into work every day. And I get to work with people who are friends of mine. I’ve had lots of support from Newgen, the BFC, and Fashion East. The BFC actually gave me a free studio for the next two years, which has been very helpful.
Dover Street Market has been very supportive of you as well. How important do you think DSM’s early embrace of your work has been to your success?
Dover Street Market is amazing and it’s always been a dream store for me to be in—it’s always been my number one. I just never thought I’d actually get there, especially at such an early stage. They’re the most incredible company to work with. Everything they do is so well executed, and they’re very respectful of my vision. I wish everyone worked the way Dover Street does.
It’s very impressive that you’ve stayed true to the artistic vision you cultivated at Central Saint Martins. You haven’t wavered from it for a second. Has that been difficult?
There is definitely a lot of temptation. Everyone has a different opinion, and you can’t let that affect you or what you’re doing. You have to use that criticism constructively. It can end up being a positive thing. But it’s definitely hard to stay true to my aesthetic.
Even though you have this cerebral side, your clothes have a realistic, utilitarian twist. They shine in the context of your conceptual catwalks, but can also easily be worn by a normal guy walking down the street.
That balance has become more and more important for us. In the beginning, I just wanted to make amazing imagery, as well as amazing clothes, because I wasn’t really selling. But now it’s essential to have that balance between what we want to show—an emotion and a fantasy—and something that’s accessible and can fit into the real world.
There have been a few people who don’t get the artistic elements of your work. For instance, David Gandy, who’s an LC:M ambassador, made some dismissive comments on television about your Spring ’14 collection, which, for the record, received rave reviews from actual fashion critics.
That was my first [runway] show out of college. I didn’t know how it would go. It was a rush to get everything done. I didn’t have any money. I had no studio. I was relying on favors, and I didn’t really know what the hell I was doing. So when that happened, I was a bit down about it. But then people came out with positive opinions, and I realized that the collection was something that was challenging people. Some people loved it and some people hated it. It was an extreme thing to show. I think every designer wants to challenge people and push things forward and take risks. That’s what keeps fashion exciting and that’s what we love to do. I love the excitement of Oh my God, are we really going to show this? Are we really doing this? It’s not like we’re going to do something crazy every time, but I think designers always need to push.
Do you think menswear is changing in that respect?
I think it’s really the time for menswear. London finally has its own menswear shows, men are a lot more open to suggestions…I think it’s still not going to grow or evolve at the rate of womenswear, but more people are interested in it than they were. Even if you look at BA shows, you’re seeing a lot more menswear students. People are finally seeing the possibilities in menswear, which is really exciting.
How, if at all, did your north London upbringing affect your aesthetic?
I guess I’ve never really known anything else. A lot of my aesthetic—and my perspective—comes from my upbringing and my family. The main reason I got into fashion is because I love to make things. So if I wasn’t doing this, I’d probably just be somewhere making things. I love that we get to do projects like the Dover Street octopus installation. I love making a show. And my family is filled with people who make things. My dad is a plumber, my uncle’s a carpenter, and my godfather is an upholsterer. I remember when I did art projects in school, I used to call my godfather and ask him for upholstery, and then I’d call my uncle and ask him how to make something out of wood. In my house, there was always stuff lying around that I could make things out of.
Is your family proud of all your success? Do they get the fashion thing?
I guess so. I don’t know. They don’t really get the fashion world. But I’ve put my life into it, so it’s not like they’re saying, “Ugh, I don’t get what you’re doing.” They enjoy it. They like it more when I do something like the octopus. That being said, they’re really supportive, and I could never have gotten to where I am without their help. I still ask them for help now. They’re amazing.
The generation ahead of you—Christopher Kane, Nicholas Kirkwood, et al.—are making it on the global stage in a way that, with few exceptions, London-based designers haven’t in a long time. Does that put pressure on you? And do you want to follow in the footsteps of, say, Jonathan Anderson, and get a big investor?
[Those designers' success] helps. It makes me think it’s all possible. It’s inspiring, and it’s gotten people to look to London more than they used to. I try not to think too much about investors and all that because what I’m doing now is so much different and bigger than what I imagined I’d be doing two years ago. It’s terrifying, but good. Of course, this is a real business, and I want this to grow into a real brand, a real company. And things are going well. We’re surviving. Two years ago, we were struggling. For Spring ’13, we couldn’t afford any fabric, so we made everything out of washed calico—which was actually kind of amazing because we made something out of nothing. But now we have the ability to say, “Hey, we want to use that fabric. Let’s get some and try it.” We have more resources to try things and do what we want.
What goals do you hope to achieve over the next few years?
I hope to stay in business! Survive! Move out of my mum’s house, maybe. These are life goals. But honestly, I hope to just be able to continue doing what we do. I’d love more brand awareness, to reach more people, and to do bigger shows. That’s always an aim. But as long as we’re able to make what we love, I’m happy.