By Ella Searle
This season, French-Italian brand Moncler adds another force to its growing list of cutting-edge collaborations. British Menswear designer of the year, Craig Green, joins Moncler to create a capsule collection incorporating both his own avant-garde explorations of masculine silhouette, with the skiwear giant’s classic models of luxury outerwear.
Moncler have previously collaborated with brands such as Off-White and Visim to create Moncler ‘O’ and ‘V’. Furthermore, Moncler ventures onto the runway each season with its exclusive line, Gamme Bleu, curated by esteemed menswear designer Thom Browne. Although it may first appear an unusual pairing, Moncler and Green’s alliance makes perfect sense. Both brands consistently explore the role of the modern man and the role of functionality within their product, as boasted by Green’s repeated incorporation of the utilitarian worker jacket. Yet Green’s unorthodox, daring aesthetic may at first seem worlds apart from the affluent ski brand that is favoured by footballers and grime MCs alike.
Craig Green’s label shot to fame with his first showcase as part of MAN, the Fashion East/Topman collective, which established him as a designer who could command widespread conversation. Green sent models down the runway wearing headpieces constructed from planks of wood. This went viral and soon the jokes began, even Jonathan Ross had something to say on its absurdity. Although Green’s success has thrived upon the basis of his daring avant-garde style, his pieces still are fundamentally routed within wearable modes, as recognised by Dylan Jones, editor in chief of GQ who praises ‘You can look at his clothes and think, yes, they’re cutting edge, but also yes, I could wear that.’ Workwear remains consistently at the centre of Green’s collections, offering an abstract, deeply emotive narrative about masculinity, where season upon season Green continues to develop his distinctive techniques such as wooden constructs and rope, that underpin the brand’s darker aesthetic. His collection with Moncler is no different: the overblown classic outwear pieces incorporate consistent elements of his namesake label such as the as macro-tag bands and raw rope which can be used to tighten and shape the silhouette of certain pieces, to bring a twist to seemingly pragmatic outerwear.
Becoming central to worldwide discussion, both in streetwear and catwalk outlets after being worn by Skepta, the collection has been highly regarded by critics. The discussion around the billion-dollar brand’s collaboration with Craig Green has help Moncler jump 11 places in the Business of Fashion Lyst Index of the world’s hottest luxury brands along side the likes of Balenciaga and Gucci. The commercial and critical approval of this collaboration can be seen to show how Craig Green configures with popular trends whilst he simultaneously works to transcend the boundaries of contemporary menswear. Despite asserting his brand as a central and highly popular force within the British fashion landscape, he never ceases to maintain his ever-elusive edge.
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