It's Monday, in Midtown — the vague piece of London between the West End and the City itself that planners and property developers have been optimistically trying to rebrand for years. Midtown's streets, on a winter Monday, are filled with men in back-to-work office clothes; navy suits and trainers, hooded anoraks and duffel coats, sensible corduroys and chunky woollen knits.
A floor below the streets of Midtown, though, a very different vision of menswear was being played out. Last season, Craig Green's emotive show was hailed as one of the week's highlights, placing the young designer firmly in the short lineup of essential London shows. He sits there alongside McQueen and JW Anderson, a trinity of voices raised above the schedule's split-personality mix of carefully-tended tradition and raucous invention.
Green's work, simplistically, is reconstructive; a vision freighted down with fragments of familiar garments. But where he excels is in how he explores putting those pieces back together — today, in elements like pristine white shirts and jersey separates, cut, braided and pulled to hug the models' frail bodies. That was one extreme; the other saw him tunnel into solid, layered-up outerwear in black and deep olive green. That tension between vulnerability and strength, between control and release, lay at the core of Green's collection, echoed in a blend of tight and broad silhouettes, and in a color palette that bled from whites and blacks to ecstatic cardinal red.