Ten Minutes with Moncler Genius – Craig Green
If you’ve been living on the Moon for the past year and you’ve just come back from your lunar expedition, you might have missed the fact that Moncler has been working with eight creative designers (also known as Geniuses) on creating eight individual, super-exclusive sub-collections. Back in February, the Moncler Genius lab took over Milan with all eight collections being shown as the official kick-off to Fashion Week there. Simone Rocha, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Hiroshi Fujiwara and Kei Ninomiya were some of the designers that showcased their own vision of Moncler’s signature – a whole new universe of puffer jackets. Every single collection stood out as a completely personal re-imagination of the Moncler’s tradition, but the one that made us stop and stare was by the maker of our favourite quilted jackets – Mister Craig Green. The king of function and fashion, Craig applied his maximalist approach with a light touch onto the hi-tech world of Moncler, and the outcome was pure visual ecstasy. Playing with perception of volume and space, twisting our ideas of protective garments, the 5 Moncler Craig Green AW18 collection was a masterful exercise in abstract fashion that also serves a purpose.
Fast-forward to today and the collection (including additional, more streamlined pieces) is launching at moncler.com and in the Moncler stores as well with SSENSE in Canada and Dover Street Market physical locations worldwide. Yes, the clothes are finally here to buy, but if you’re anything like us – there’s always some burning questions that need answering. Luckily for both of us – we actually got a chance to ask one of our favourite menswear designers all about this stellar collaboration. So, as you wait for your seamless puffer to be delivered to your door, we’re bringing you a tête-à-tête with Craig Green.
DINO BONACIC: If anyone looks at any of your work – there’s a definite sense of utility that stands out. How do you see function and fashion intertwining?
CRAIG GREEN: Uniforms have almost become a romantic idea, potentially due to the way that industry is developing to become more mechanised. The idea of a garment as “one size fits all” is something that influences a lot of my design processes; garments that can be adjusted and adapted to multiple body shapes through a series of ties and straps.
I think that pockets are important and are usually a main focus of everything we make, they tend to be large and applied very visibly onto the outside of garments. I have always loved garments that you can work and do things in, as there is a beauty in the idea of something that is both comfortable and functional. I think that this is my idea of luxury.
DB: Your Moncler collection is all about the idea of material lightness and visual heaviness. How do you see the balance of the two?
CG: I have always loved opposing ideas and the tension between the two extremes. So, exploring the ideas of heaviness and lightness in this collection helped to push the development process further.
I think of a Moncler jacket in a similar way, something that has a solid looking form but is actually as light as air.
DB: Just like with Moncler, padding, quilting and down textiles obviously play a big role in your personal work. Where does that obsession come from?
CG: I love working with padding and quilting as a way of giving a garment structure without adding too much weight, or losing the ability to travel and pack the garment away easily.
The [signature] quilted workwear jacket was first developed for SS16 back in 2015. I wear this jacket almost every day and it has now kind of become our team/studio uniform, as we all wear it each day throughout the year. That collection was inspired by judo suits, protective armour and the internals layers of spacesuits.
The idea was to create a padded jacket that could function both as an internal and external layering piece, a padded protective garment made using the most straightforward default machine setting for joining layers of fabric together, a 1’ inch line quilt technique, giving the effect of a vertical and minimal pinstripe impression across the fabric. That quilted workwear jacket recently became part of our core collection, which is a collection of continuously available styles available throughout the year.
DB: When designing, it seems like you look both into the past and the future – would you describe your work as futuristic?
CG: Most of my starting points and references come from historical/ traditional dress or garments and devices that no longer have a use. I look back a lot and then try and develop new ways of approaching and adapting things.
DB: If you had to choose a single piece from the collection as the perfect representative symbol of your Moncler vision, which one would it be and why?
CG: Alongside the more extreme pieces shown at the FW18 presentation, there is another side to the collection based on the approach of developing new ideas using down-filled technology. These techniques are then developed into accessible in-store collection pieces, but also feature within the more extreme show pieces.
A good example of this is the FW18 stitchless down-filled jacket: a technique of creating a Moncler jacket without any visible external stitching. Kind of like making an external lining or cover for the outside of a jacket.
DB: How different is your design process for Moncler from your process for CRAIG GREEN?
CG: I was excited to work with Moncler because I see it as a brand that has functionality and protection at its core. Although what I do within my own brand has a very different approach, I have used similar ideas as a starting point for the Moncler collection, exploring Moncler’s heritage whilst interpreting it in a way that aims to push those traditional ideas further.
DB: In your show notes for the Moncler collection you talked about a protective aspect to the clothes. What is the danger you’re protecting the 5 Moncler Craig Green wearer from?
CG: The collection was developed through the layering of protective devices and garments; life vests, swimming aids, isolation tanks, spacesuits and life rafts. These shapes were layered and built into garments, creating the effect of extreme protection.
DB: The Moncler Genius hub is a unique concept in the industry right now. Which other geniuses do you enjoy the work of?
CG: I really love what the other Genius designers produced for this season, and I’m very proud to have shown alongside Simone [Rocha] and Pierpaolo [Piccioli, of Valentino] during fashion week, as both are designers that I very much admire.