Tag: Clarks

The blackness of Christopher Raeburn’s AW16 presentation was a stark contrast to the dazzling sunlight this morning at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. When I’d received the invitation, I’d been surprised to see that it wasn’t his usual catwalk show in the BFC showspace, but as my eyes adjusted to the dark room and the flashing neon structure in the middle of it, I suddenly understood that this is, in fact, the best way to see his collection.

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Raeburn is perhaps most well-known for his innovative work with fabrics, having become a pioneer in his adaptation of different materials into his designs and promoting sustainability within the fashion world. This season, he has collaborated with The Woolmark Company to celebrate the versatility of Merino Wool, creating a varied collection showcasing each of its unique qualities. Temperature-regulating base layers sit underneath fluffy wool jumpers, topped with lightweight outerwear that can fit underneath heavier duty pieces to suit the wearer.

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Military jackets were the starting point for the collection, with elements from all kinds of ceremonial outerwear, from officer tunics to drummer jackets, inspiring each design. Lapels adorn jackets and roll-necks, repurposed from shoulders to add unusual decoration. Rope detailing provides texture on a classic duffle coat, and sheer embroidery adds delicate femininity to a military jumpsuit. The colours of the range speak of this military influence too, based upon autumnal greens, blacks and greys, with flashes of red nodding to its ceremonial side.

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As if collaborations with not only The Woolmark Company but also embroidery designer Jenny King and knitwear designer Sarah Sweeney weren’t enough for one collection, shoemaker Clarks continue to play a significant role in Raeburn’s designs. Practical yet stylish suede boots finish off each look, featuring wood panelling and rounded soles.

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Raeburn’s work is so hugely multi-faceted that it deserves to be enjoyed slowly, savouring each aspect as you move around the square of models and hear the man himself enthusing about his design processes. As enjoyable as his previous shows have been, it is only now that I really understand the sheer depth of each piece and their collective importance within the modern fashion landscape. Underpinning this significance, there remains a beautifully versatile and aesthetically pleasing collection, disproving the common myth that fashion can’t be functional. Quite simply, Christopher Raeburn has knocked it out of the park this season, leaving us looking on to see what genius awaits us in September.

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Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Mel Williams | Fashion Week Photographer

image002image004Clarks x Christopher Raeburn’s first collection sees eleven styles combining Clarks rich heritage of craft and shoe making expertise and the inspiration for Christopher Raeburn’s Spring/Summer ‘16 collection: Sarawak, a Borneo theme, with the anthropologist Tom Harrison at the centre of the story.image003 

The Salek Sun is the first sandal in collection to be seen and appeared on the catwalk alongside Christopher’s SS16 Women’s Ready To Wear. Woven detailing and bold ankle straps combine with block heels made using lightweight EVA and recycled EVA to create a sandal which is modern yet functional. Webbing and cork are unexpected materials which lend an intrepid feel.

Still in the process of knitting a pair of the adorable shark mittens from his AW15 collaboration with Wool and the Gang, I was impatient to enter the BFC Showspace to see what Christopher Raeburn had in store for us for SS16. Drumming, tribal music announced the arrival of the collection, named, wonderfully onomatopoeically, Sarawak. The clothes were fluid, dynamic as the models moved, and full of texture. Inspired by both real and imagined female explorers in the jungle of Borneo, the designs were utilitarian and practical, but in sheer light fabrics and cinched at the waist, adding femininity to practicality.

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Oversize jacquard bumbags sit on lower backs - useful for the modern explorer - but tied on with fabric belts which become part of the outfit, emphasising the female form. The colour palette, too, spoke of the theme; khakis and olives in heavier fabrics contrasted with sky blue and cloud white, blocked on organzas and decorating jackets.

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Raeburn is renowned for the sustainability which forms the core of each collection, and this season was no exception. Black and white air brake parachutes, with their chequered pattern, found themselves on the catwalk as distinctive outerwear. This pattern appeared again on tops, skirts and trousers, this time as silk edging from British mill Vanners, creating cut-out silhouettes.

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Long-time fan of a good collaboration, Raeburn has worked with two brands once again this season. Shoes from footwear experts Clarks walked down the catwalk, wrapping feet in tonal materials to form sensible yet very covetable sandals. Lightweight knitwear developed with revolutionary knitwear company Knyttan also appeared, featuring signature graphics from the collection.

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Explorers negotiate unknown environments, taking everything in their stride, which is exactly what the Sarawak woman embodies. She is able to adapt to any situation in style, looking sultry but also prepared for whatever she may find in her path. Raeburn has once again combined clever inspiration with innovation and sustainability to create an impeccable collection for next season.

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Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Eloise Peachey | Fashion Week Photographer | @eloisepeachey

Beat the winter blues with pastel shades and make work more bearable with a few new wardrobe additions.

Channel Oscar De La Renta's SS/15 catwalk with these items from the much more attainable Clarks. Courts and flats are still in, as are flesh tones and pastels but even lighter than before.

Everyone knows that if you match your shoes with your handbag you look pretty well put together so use the below as a little pick and mix to perfect pastel plotting.

Clarks pastel shopping fashion

Last season DOOM put his unmistakable stamp on a limited edition Clarks Originals classic, the Wallabee. Now, the self-styled ‘super villain of hip hop is back, collaborating with Clarks Originals on a new Wallabee like no other. Known for breaking onto the New York hip-hop scene in the 90s, DOOM’s previous collaborations include Danger Mouse, Ghostface and Thom Yorke.

DOOM’s remix of the iconic boot is available in royal blue suede with orange laces - combining the colours of his favourite New York sports team - and features a mask-themed lining and glow in the dark effect sole. Carefully considering every element of his design, DOOM’s recognisable mask is also embossed on the side of the heel.

Clarks Originals X DOOM will be exclusively available at www.clarks.co.uk now.

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