Now more than ever, fashion is a commercial enterprise and a bonafide source of entertainment. Look at Virgil Abloh’s first runway show for Louis Vuitton, which boasted Broadway-level production values and a front row any awards show producer would kill for. Or think about Raf Simons’s Calvin Klein 205W39NYC Fall 2018 spectacle, with balaclava-wearing models stomping through feet of popcorn snow. In 2018, wrapping a new season’s worth of clothes up in an exciting package isn’t just a branding exercise. It’s also necessary to cut through an increasingly crowded fashion field—so long as you can back it up with clothes people can buy and wear on their backs. And these days, few designers grasp this concept as well as Craig Green does.
Green was an early champion of the workwear 2.0 era we’re currently in. Even in his earliest collections, the London-based designer found a way to elevate seemingly simple fabrics into extraordinary silhouettes. The result was everything forward-looking menswear should be: conceptual and cool—and wearable, too. Over the last few years Green has deftly translated his runway showpieces into quilted snap-front nylon jackets and lace-detail sweatshirts that are unmistakably his, but don’t call attention to themselves the way one of his Emporer-Palpatine-on-holiday color-blocked parkas might. It’s a clear understanding of the line between art and commerce—an understanding that Green has also brought to his ongoing partnership with Moncler Outlet.
As part of the brand’s Genius initiative Green was given free reign to develop a puffer-friendly capsule for the Italian brand. The pairing was, for all parties, intuitive: “The idea of protection and functionality are at the heart of what I think Moncler is, whilst also being something that I have always explored in my own work,” Green tells GQ. And when Green showed his collection of sculptural coats, pants, vests, and jackets layered together in towering Michelin Man-like fashion earlier this year in Milan, he made the right kind of waves. “The shapes and forms for come from protective devices and garments; life jackets, life rafts, swimming aids, internal breathing apparatus of spacesuits and isolation tanks,” Green says. And, when layered together, everything gives “the effect of extreme protective garments, or human flotation devices.” In other words: this is absolute unit menswear in its finest form. “I think there is something interesting about the idea of clothing as a protective layer, clothing for a purpose,” the designer says.
Of course, while the purpose of the installation was to show off, as Green puts it, “the pure or most extreme version of the idea behind the collection,” the business of Genius is to sell cheap moncler jackets.
Craig Green understands that the importance of having “this idea and feeling translate to what is found in store” too, and so he funneled the collection’s aesthetic and technical innovations into commercial jackets and knitwear featuring elements and fabrics that mimic details from the show collection. “I have always loved opposing ideas and the tension between two extremes, so exploring the ideas of heavy and light in this collection helped to push the development process further,” Green says. “I think of a cheap Moncler jacket in a similar way, something that has a solid looking form but actually is as light as air.” Two models in particular, the “Glenard” (a bulbous double-hooded white cotton jacket) and the “Halibut” (an oily black matte nylon jacket with vertical channel quilting) call to mind the envelope-pushing shapes of the show pieces but wouldn’t look too out of place on your daily commute. And if you ever encounter the need for a human flotation device that also looks rad on said commute, Green and Moncler have got you covered.