Florence’s Pitti Uomo often plays host to industry firsts, but the SS19 season in June earlier this year was unique in another sense. In the dramatic confines of Florence’s former medieval prison, Moncler debuted the first collection of its Genius project — a project that replaces its seasonal partnerships with monthly drops from designers.
The next day, a few miles away in the grandeur of the Medicis’ Boboli Gardens, the British designer Craig Green, as Pitti Uomo’s SS19 guest designer, exhibited for the first time his spring/summer collection outside of the British capital. Now the two come together for the latest drop in the Genius project, 5 Moncler Craig Green, releasing August 22.
Widely lauded as one of the most talented and conceptual professionals working today, the independent British designer’s work is, according to Business of Fashion’s Tim Blanks, noted for its consistent reference to workwear’s functionality. However, throughout his work, a conceptual innocence lying somewhere between strength and practicality and emotional romanticism runs through everything. He was a fashion outsider, graduating from London’s St Martin’s with its legendary MA in Fashion, but he fell into it, originally wanting to be an oil painter and only starting after a bunch of students on an open day casually suggested he try looking into fashion.
This sense of function underscores the degree to which this collaborative collection with a brand makes sense — Moncler is known for making clothes that are, above anything else, functional and protective against nature's harsher elements. This is something the designer spoke on explicitly: "I thought it would be interesting for these ideas to be pushed further, interpreting Moncler’s performance based history, and developing designs with their years of technical knowledge and expertise."
Using only matte nylon and cotton dawns, Green’s radical collection uses wild overblown proportions but is actually still designed and intended to be worn. Pieces are gigantic yet light, filled with down for warmth. Moncler's accompanying press release states they're like habitats, built for living in and protection against the elements.
"The thing is," says Highsnobiety's Digital Fashion Editor, Alec Leach, when I ask him what he thinks of Green and his work, "he is genuinely a genius. Like an actual genius. He makes jaw-dropping, beautiful clothes that don't even look like clothes. His shows are like watching performance art. He makes workwear and then turns it into, like, Picasso or something."
Moncler’s Genius project is one of eight collections made with some of the most esteemed and industry disrupting designers of the moment. Eschewing the traditional fashion week seasonal cycle, the collections are releasing across 2018 in a new model that aims to challenge the traditional way of doing things — bringing clothing to people immediately, rather than the older way of waiting 12 months after a fashion show to buy a new collection.
As part of the launch, SSENSE will present the 5 Moncler Craig Green installation in the SSENSE boutique in Montreal, Canada, on August 22. We'll be there, so check out Instagram Stories feed for a live take on the event. Check back with us for more coverage on the Moncler Genius project.