Friday 15th June

| BY Richard Gray

Craig Green: Menswear Spring/ Summer 2019

If the statues dotted around Florence’s famous Boboli Gardens, the venue for Craig Green’s Spring/ Summer 2019 show last night, allude to wealth, power and status, then the linear constructions strapped to Green’s models said much the same. These constructions traced out an imaginary macho man. The clothes: well, what the collection lost in tardiness – the show was an hour late – it made up for in the many ideas. The cotton trousers in a pale mint and matching shirt were as easy as hospital scrubs, and handsome red cords, held in place with loops, traced lines up and around the torso and the excess cord just dangled.

It became beautifully complex when Green piled stretchy fabrics, which mimicked bikinis and onesies, waspies, swimsuits and bra-tops, one over the other, to create top-drawer fancy tops. Those “girly bits” looked to be cut at the seams, stretched out and laid flat, much like Green’s sculptures in ad campaigns and store installations. A washed, what we’re taking for denim, section, in a light purple and that pale orange again, had the classic Craig Green loose trouser and jacket combos, plus a foot-wide length of satin attached at the side seams, that, once again, traced the outline around the body. It exaggerated everything and the models appeared to move incoherently as the fabric flapped around. A very complicated series of fabric and knit stripes were sewn together after that, in a set of body-con “tracksuits” made with sections of all sorts and Airtex. Up-close they were technical on another level, and from a distance, looked like coloured silk flags strung up between houses at street parties. Two excellent heat-sealed shower-proof coats came from nowhere and then it got really good. Jackets and trousers in green, orange and blue printed with something like architectural drawings, or patterns from the cutting room floor. And then, as if some studio clever clogs had laid a white vest over a plain t-shirt under the office scanner, that “just faxed” reverse shadow look, came out on easy cotton shirts and trousers.

To finish: colour – tons of the stuff! And these mad and glitchy mind-bending prints, like those you see when you stare at those  hologram postcards in bong shops. Or for fans of Peter Saville, think of the New Order album cover Technique. Stare hard enough at Green’s prints though and you’ll see stone rubbings as well as statues. Magic.