5 Moncler Craig Green Wants to Protect You
The designer's newest collection with Moncler launches this week.
Craig Green is one of a few designers in the industry who stands in a category of their own. With his namesake collection, which he launched in London soon after graduating from Central Saint Martins, he continuously pushed the boundaries of what fashion can be at its very core: functional, conceptual, a true reflection of our time the way that great art often is.
Since 2018, 5 Moncler Craig Green, his ongoing collaboration with Moncler has consistently exceeded the expectations of the typical designer/brand collaborations. In the process, it has given Moncler a new energy, redefining while also reinforcing its key components: protection and innovation. “What’s exciting about working with a brand like Moncler, which is so strong and definitive in what it's about, and has a core product, which is a winter, padded, down jacket, [is that] it's interesting to work within those restrictions.” Green tells GARAGE over the phone. “It's like, How many more things can you do, inspired by a down jacket? And I think working within that restriction is what keeps it interesting.” He talked to us about his approach to the collaboration, which is now available online, and the human need for protection.
You've been working with Moncler now for over two years. How has your approach to the collections changed from the first collection?
So before the Genius project, we worked with Moncler for a smaller project called Capsule C. And that was obviously a different approach. There was no show or presentation involved, it was more like a lookbook. [At the very beginning, we started with] kind of the most obvious research images that you could think of when you think of Moncler. We looked at ski and mountain and adventure wear and tried to look for something within that, that hadn't been looked at in a certain way before.
Usually, it's centered around the ideas of protection and functionality, which I think is kind of really what Moncler is about. That first collection was inspired by when you injure yourself on a mountain, they put you on the stretcher, they strap you, they put a blanket around you, usually. There was an image of somebody strapped to a stretcher with a padded blanket and then the straps were kind of cinching in or attaching him into the stretcher, and it kind of looked a little bit like a Moncler jacket because of the volume.
Last Fall-Winter, the idea was about Moncler being perfect for travel because it's protective and also the volume of the jacket can be compacted into a very small space, and they're very light. So everything was about the packability of Moncler.
The collection that's launching right now is really focused on the lightness of Moncler, and the construction of a down jacket, [the way] that it starts off like a kind of flat 2D, two layers of fabric and then it's injected with padding and filling to kind of give it its form and shape.
It's always something to do with down jacket construction or the heritage of Moncler, but kind of twisted in a different way.
When you start planning a collection, do you have an idea for a design and then you explore the materials or do you look at materials first?
It always starts with materials because we always start with the slightly more accessible part of the collection, the actual jackets that will be available in store, etc. It always starts with the technical aspect of how we can approach the construction of a down jacket in a new way. So it starts with textile and process before maybe, anything else. Before the show aspects kind of pushes it into a more extreme place.
This season, for example, the aim was to make the lightest possible down jacket that we could. So there was a micro, ripstop fabric that had the property of looking very kind of transparent and delicate, but actually it was a very protective technical fabric. So we used that, which created the lightness of the garments, but also gave a translucent effect when we injected the downs or feather into the jacket. You could kind of see the white of the feather almost created the effect of almost a 3D print, but it was just the jacket. So it kind of always starts from that place and then develops on as the process happens.
What sort of ideas do you want people to take away from the collection?
I think that when we [finalize] the collection with Moncler it always goes back to that protection and functionality. It's also [about] attempting to make people fantasize about what things could be. Making things simplified, but then looking at them in a different way.
You keep coming back to protection, but for some reason that word “protection” feels loaded in a different way, it’s not the word that necessarily comes to mind for a ski jacket although that’s exactly what it is. Now that you're getting ready to launch this collection, which you've been looking at for many months by now, has it changed your view of what you created?
No, but I think going back to that idea of protection feels quite of the moment right now. Everyone wants to feel protected. So I think that idea of protection is always kind of around and in clothing or I guess, as people, in general. It's like the idea of buying an arctic winter jacket, but really you live in a climate where you would never need an arctic winter jacket, but it doesn't stop you from buying it. That feeling of being protected or being prepared is a human nature kind of thing. And whether it's through clothing or the people around them or the space that they live, people just like to be protected