Saturday, June 16, 2018

BEAUTY: Clothing--Craig Green at Pitti Uomo

Pitti Uomo wrapped up yesterday in Florence, and while it has been primarily known as a trade show for the fashion industry, the organizers have been adding more and more events and runway shows.

And for this Pitti Uomo, the headline guest designer was Craig Green (previously here). Green has a penchant for cords, ties, and ropes as well as cobbled-together sculptures from scrap wood and fabric that he straps to the fronts or backs of his models. But the near-ecclesiastical sparseness and Zen-simplicity of his garments belies the larger concepts beneath them. He regularly cites the ideas of deconstructing the masculinity of war and conflict, of the juxtaposition of protection and safety (his sculptures often resemble armour or wards) with vulnerability, and of seeking a more spiritual, higher level of functioning in this world.

Made in collaboration with Nike (Green used the high-strength, lightweight material Nike uses for its Flyknit line), the collection was inspired in part by the unsung heroes of our everyday lives. "I’d been looking at cleaners, surgeons, and postmen. They’re the people who have your life in their hands. There was that forgotten savior idea. I liked the idea that people could become angels in their lives by working hard and doing good," said Green. This could explain the cutout silhouettes of people following some of the models. A few of the ensembles resemble not only the simplistic, perhaps monastic garments of the past but also surgical scrubs. But there seems to be a split happening about halfway through the collection with the front halves of ensembles made of the Flyknit material while the back of the garment shifts at the seam into a soft, shimmery, floating statement. The human silhouette flips forward with diagrams of what look like energy lines in the spirit body. These energetic lines dissolve and in their place is an expression of the radiance of pure force from a central point. Green eventually morphs the collection into a transcendent moment with full-length tabards (or blankets!) held together with rope and overprinted with deep, shifting patterns in which one can make out Renaissance angels. Green said, "I thought they looked like a portal, a doorway, an escape to a better place...Sometimes the worst nightmare is reality."

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