3…2…1…we had liftoff at Christopher Raeburn’s fashion show on Sunday, held at the British Fashion Council’s official show space, 180 The Strand. The British designer sent both men and women down the catwalk, with a vision influenced by George Lucas’ first ever film from 1971 – THX 1138. The film charts a terrestrial dystopian future, but if Raeburn’s collection is anything to go by, it’s a future that doesn’t look too entirely bleak as long as we’re dressed for the voyage.
For Raeburn’s graduate collection at London’s Royal College of Art in 2006, he used upcycled fabrics at a time when the concept was still emerging. The method requires repurposing old products into something entirely new that often surpasses its old counterpart. This sustainable aesthetic has continued to drive Raeburn’s designs ever since he launched his brand in 2008.
He is best known for creating outerwear from de-commissioned parachutes. For his Spring/Summer 2017 collection, his REMADE ethos took flight once again, where Airbrake parachute material was reimagined as shorts, skirts, and of course, his trademark outerwear. Flame-resistant Nomex, a textile worn by astronauts, firefighters and military personnel alike, was incorporated into one of the parkas. Who knows when that might come in handy…
Sticking to a utilitarian palette of greys, whites, blacks, and blues, with blood orange accents, field and bomber jackets were laden with functional straps and pockets. The footwear, mainly an array of practical metallic and chrome sandals and trainers, was designed in collaboration with Clarks.
Raeburn is giving fuel to fashion’s casual movement with high fashion hoodies, tracksuits, and backpacks. They looked like the sort of thing off-duty models could easily slip into after a show. The horizontal hoops around the arms and legs were reminiscent of high-visibility clothing. It’s an appropriate comparison, seeing as Raeburn’s loungewear staples certainly will get you noticed, leaving no room for blending into the background. In terms of womenswear, I particularly liked the see-through skirt with black rings orbiting the hem.
In a three-way Venn diagram motif that continued to pop up on t-shirts and jumpers, 'remade,' 'reduced,' and 'recycled' all led back to Christopher Raeburn as the linking element. In a feature on sustainable fashion in a U.S. issue of VOGUE, the magazine urged its readers to 'remember the four R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, and Raeburn.' That sounds like a philosophy we would be happy to follow – to the moon and back.
Speaking of which, Raeburn’s got the whole world in his hands, or rather, he’s got the moon on his designs. La luna made a big, bold appearance against the black backdrops of jackets, shorts, dresses, and jumpers.
What’s next for Raeburn? I would say to go where no man has gone before, but his innovative approach to fashion means he’s already managed to pull that off. In that case, it looks like it’s to infinity and beyond for this beloved designer.