Craig Green’s Inspirations: Paper Dolls and Art From a London Gay Bar
Craig Green has been a highlight of London Fashion Week for years, consistently impressing with his unique designs that blend traditional tailoring with avant-garde shapes and materials. But where does he get his inspiration? One unexpected source is a London gay bar called The Glory.
Green’s fascination with The Glory began when he stumbled upon a night called “Dirty Di’s Tunnel of Love,” a monthly event where drag queens perform while audience members participate in paper doll-making workshops. In an interview with AnOther Magazine, Green said, “I loved how it was all so interconnected – the paper dolls transforming into performance.”
From this experience, Green began to delve deeper into the art and culture of The Glory, even hosting his Spring/Summer 2020 presentation there. Here, we’ll explore the history of paper dolls and the influence of The Glory on Green’s designs.
The History of Paper Dolls
Paper dolls have been a form of entertainment for children and adults alike for centuries, with the earliest known examples dating back to the 18th century. They first became popular in the United States during the mid-19th century, when advancements in printing technology allowed for mass production.
Paper dolls often depict fashion or historical figures and are cut out of paper or cardboard, with stand-up tabs to allow them to be posed. They can be dressed up in intricate outfits, often with accessories like shoes and hats.
In the 20th century, paper dolls evolved to include celebrities, characters from books, and even political figures. Today, paper dolls are mostly seen as collector’s items or nostalgic artifacts.
The Glory: A London Gay Bar
The Glory is a drag bar in East London, known for its inclusive atmosphere and support of the queer community. It was founded in 2014 drag queen Jonny Woo and events promoter Colin Rothbart, and has since become a staple of London’s nightlife scene.
The bar hosts a number of events, from drag shows to karaoke to cabaret. One of its most popular events is “Dirty Di’s Tunnel of Love,” a paper doll-making workshop and performance night.
At these workshops, attendees are given paper dolls to decorate with various materials, like glitter, feathers, and fabric. They are then invited to take part in a drag performance, featuring their paper dolls as accessories.
Craig Green at The Glory
In 2019, Craig Green held his Spring/Summer 2020 presentation at The Glory, marking a departure from the traditional catwalk format. The presentation featured models standing on plinths, surrounded paper dolls created The Glory’s regulars.
“Having been to parties there, I knew it was a magical space where ‘realness’ wasn’t important,” Green told Vogue. “I wanted to see what would happen if we brought the catwalk presentation to this environment and did something different.”
This collaboration resulted in a stunning show that celebrated the creative community of The Glory and the importance of individual expression.
How The Glory Has Influenced Green’s Designs
The influence of The Glory on Craig Green’s designs can be seen in his use of unusual materials and shapes. For his Fall/Winter 2020 collection, for example, he created oversized puffer jackets and trousers using a special material that inflated like a balloon. This playful approach to fashion mirrors the whimsical and irreverent atmosphere of The Glory.
Green has also created collections that draw on the history and iconography of the LGBT+ community. His Spring/Summer 2018 collection, for example, featured embroidered patches and sequins in the shape of handkerchiefs, which have historically been used as a code for sexual preferences.
Overall, The Glory has inspired Green to think outside the box and push the boundaries of fashion. His collaborations with the bar have resulted in some of his most innovative and dynamic work.
How to Create Your Own Paper Dolls
Interested in making your own paper dolls? It’s a fun and creative activity that can be done alone or with friends. Here’s a step--step guide:
Step 1: Gather your materials. You’ll need paper or cardstock, scissors, and something to decorate your dolls with, like markers or stickers.
Step 2: Draw your doll. Decide on the shape you want your doll to take and draw it onto your paper or cardstock. Make sure to include tabs at the bottom, so your doll can stand up.
Step 3: Cut out your doll. Carefully cut out your doll, making sure to keep the tabs intact.
Step 4: Decorate your doll. Use your markers or stickers to create clothes, accessories, and other details for your doll.
Step 5: Stand up your doll. Fold the tabs at the bottom of your doll and stand it up. You can also use tape to secure the tabs in place.
Step 6: Play with your doll! Pose your doll and make up stories with it, or create a whole set of dolls to play with.
The Glory has become an unexpected source of inspiration for Craig Green, a designer known for his innovative and daring collections. By embracing the spirit of paper dolls and the creative community of The Glory, Green has created collections that push the boundaries of fashion and celebrate individual expression.
Creating your own paper dolls is a fun and accessible way to engage with this rich history and explore your own creativity. So gather your materials and start cutting! Who knows what kind of wild and wonderful characters you’ll come up with.