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London catwalks: Craig Green on his "painted paradise" and other highlights

Craig Green spring 18

Craig Green and Vivienne Westwood were among the stand out shows on the final day of London Fashion Week Men’s spring 18.

Craig Green takes us to paradise

C green

On the fourth and final day of London Fashion Week Men’s, Craig Green revitalised the crowds of buyers and press with a superb collection full of colour and innovation – a stand out of the week.

“Last season was quite melancholic so we started with positivity, sunshine and birds of paradise,” said Green backstage after the show. “So it was about holidays and utopia and escape.” He was referring to the vibrant coats, ponchos, capes and hooded scarves that closed the show in warm, tropical colours. Some came in eye-catching tessellating triangle patterns, while others were covered with patchwork patterns of abstract setting sun bursts, sandy beaches, exotic birds and arching palm trees.

Of course, there was always going to be a darker side to Green’s “painted paradise,” as he called it. There were “scuba tops” that featured sweeping curves of stitching giving them a sportswear feel that were cut oversized and boxy – sometimes they were left loose, other times the excess fabric was wrapped and tied, protecting or “constricting the body”, he explained.

Green was also sure to bring us back down to earth and to back reality thanks to what he called the “normality of denim” - with wide legged jeans and matching round neck vests in dark indigo and classic denim blue - the most simple pieces, but some of the most covetable.

Craig Green spring 18

Craig Green spring 18

Craig Green spring 18

One of Green’s biggest strengths as a designer is that he has quickly established a unique design handwriting, so his collections feel very familiar, but always feel new as he moves them on, develops, updates and evolves, offering plenty for his current fans, while being sure to attract legions more.

For example, this season Green’s two most recognisable signatures, his trailing string details and one inch quilting were literally combined, creating something new and altogether wonderful. Strings were tunnelled between the quilt’s lines of stitching, creating a three dimensional texture to the fabric, as well as lines of tasselling at the hems of classic Green jackets given a whole new lease of life - expect them to be best sellers.

Vivienne Westwood celebrates the end of the world


The end of the world is approaching, lets party! Despite the rather negative theme hanging over much of Vivienne Westwood’s politically charged combined men’s and womenswear spring 18 show, there was an exuberant air as extroverted dancers and acrobatic circus performers took to the catwalk, before Westwood herself appeared on the shoulders of a burly model. With the likes of upstart designers Charles Jeffrey and Art School bringing their gender blurring, riotous parades to London’s catwalks, Westwood took this chance to remind everyone she is one of our original fashion trouble makers.

All of her signatures were there in the collection – T-shirts scribbled with messages and slogans (spring 18’s key words: mother fucker), chaotic prints and drawn patterns (spots, almost leopard like, actually represented the noughts “which endlessly multiply money by 10” explained the show notes), slouchy tailored trousers and dandish boxy blazers (some with oversized razor sharp lapels), and over the top dresses and gowns that were gathered and ruched around the body (and worn by men).

But this season they’d gone through the apocalypse – knitwear was shredded, sleeves were slit, tailoring ripped and items patchworked together from scraps of material. Rubbish became jewellery, shoved into the legs of tights, while discarded water bottle squashed into shoes tied around the feet.

Belstaff’s motorcycle odyssey


For her first full collection as creative director, Belstaff’s Delphine Ninous took inspiration from the Paris to Dakar rally race, Belstaff’s spring 18 combined men’s and women’s collection was a fusion of heritage and modern, with a typical retro sports vibe taking cues from cultures from east to west in a palette that hinted at the desert tones that have dominated this season’s LFWM catwalks. Technical fabrics played a key role this season, sat alongside luxe leather and silks. Highlights included a women’s glossy vinyl mac in clay-brown, a vintage style leather racer jacket in colour blocks or red and white, and a cobalt blue bomber jackets. Slogan sweaters featuring the Belstaff logo also look set to be a hit.

Nicholas Daley’s Bedouin debut

Nicholas Daley made his LFWM debut this season, with a collection inspired in part by south Asian textiles, and in part by his own Scottish heritage. The resulting collection featured a plethora of plaid and tartans on relaxed, loose fitting designs, including shorts, jackets and trousers. Stand out items included a neutral tartan kilt, a mossy green anorak coat and a pair of pale tight ankle trousers.

Bobby Abley says ‘Eh-oh’


Bobby Abley presented a riotously nostalgic, brash and bold collection for spring 18, brimming with his characteristic quirky, exuberant style. True to Abley’s cartoonish form, the collection was predominantly inspired by the Teletubbies – primary colours, rainbows and even Teletubby back packs were littered through the collection and a giant Dipsy (the green one) paraded around the catwalk as a finale. As a whole, the collection was wild and extravagant, but some of the more commercial pieces included the Teletubby printed sweaters and sportswear hoodies.

Katie Eary’s neon nostalgia


Katie Eary harked back to her youth with a 1990s rave-inspired collection for spring 18 that featured collaborations with three street-wear brands – Boy London, Spliffy and Pretty Green - designed as a “post-apocalyptic MTV beach party”, with sci-fi influences and day-glo colours. Key items included the jungle print trousers and anoraks, as well as the neon jewel toned Boy London jumpers, patterned with butterflies and bugs.

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