Designer Craig Green Walks Us Through His Latest Pitti Show

The British fashion visionary was inspired by color, sculpture, and crime scenes.
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Florence's storied Boboli Gardens, the backyard of the Medici family for centuries, took on an eerie pall for the dusk show of Craig Green's Spring 2019 collection. The London-based Green was the official guest designer of Pitti this week and chose the iconic Florentine location for a contemplative treatise on transcendence and perspective.

Themes of uniforms and communal dressing along with the idea that reality is scarier than any Hollywood monster were woven together in an unsettling but compelling collection in the sylvan bowers of Boboli (also throw in a few crime scene outlines and cleaning smocks).


Backstage, Green explicated the equally sinister and angelic currents of the collection. 

On where it began

CG The beginning of the collection [started from] the idea that the scariest thing you can think about is reality. The horror films with a monster that you see are never as scary as the ones that are things that you know of or a situation that could happen. Also, I think its interesting that when a crime is committed and then they interview ten people who give completely different statements as to what happened in that one moment. It's a little bit like that Cubist idea, trying to get every angle on one 2-D surface.

We twisted those ideas of reality, and then the uniforms we were looking at were kind of cleaners smocks, cleaning lady outfits, postman's outfits. I thought it was interesting that they are like an unsung hero or an angel workforce. I always thought of an angel [as] an interesting, strange idea.

On the ecstatic colors

CG I watched a documentary about how when you show two colors together they can affect your emotions. When you put red on top of blue it looks like it's vibrating because you can't focus on it. In the beginning, the collection was all minimal because it was two colors and it looks like you can create a visual effect with not really anything.  That's where the intense colors came from. They were all from a light spectrum and it was sort of like becoming a light at the end. 

CG I saw a photograph of a woman with someone walking behind her in the street and the angle the photo was taken looked like she had a halo because of the other person. I thought that was quite a terrifying image. Kind of like there's your alternate personality, there's someone following you, or there's a halo or a kind of protective shield. But also a line around a dead body on a crime scene. All of those feelings. I also like what it did to the body, because if you put that outline on the front of a man it made everything look smaller, and you concentrate on the space in between them. 

On the uniforms

CG I'm always interested in the idea of uniform or communal ways of dress or groups of people. You don't see people in uniform anymore which is now a romantic idea because everything is mechanized. People don't even wear uniforms to work anymore. People don't wear suits to the office anymore either. There is something romantic about seeing people in the same group wearing the same clothing pieces.

I also liked the idea of one-size-fits-all for a uniform. People tend to think a uniform is kind of oppressive as an idea but I always think its quite inclusive because you can't judge. If you meet someone and you're in the same uniform you don't how rich they are, where they're from, you both start in an even plain. And I love that idea.

On the installation and showing in the Boboli Gardens:

CG The idea for the installation was about blocking out parts of an environment. Like, say if you had this space of trees and you put these blank parts around it would be like saying just focus on this one leaf, or just focus on this one flower. That idea of blocking out things or making doorways to somewhere else. And then I thought the Boboli gardens are just beautiful! 

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