Christopher Raeburn is always catering to the outdoorsy types. His clothes are not only eye-catching but wholly practical and durable. This season Raeburn created a collection resilient enough to withstand both desert sun and wind, with just enough of a sportswear touch to appeal to the commercial buyer.
Raeburn had utilised pre-flown kites, in collaboration with EXKITE, taking the wind out of their sails to create anoraks and macs alike. While this type of eco-fashion seems particularly of-the-moment, Raeburn has been pioneering such processes for years - previous collections have been built from army surplus or sourced from traceable organic suppliers. This collection also saw a collaboration between Raeburn and footwear brand Palladium Boots. Constructed from recycled rubber, recycled PET coated leather and organic cotton, the boots were another succesful step toward conscientious eco-fashion for Raeburn. His ethical three R’s: 'Remade, Reduced, Recycled' appeared on statement strips which featured on hemline, sleeve, as hoodie string and as attachment. As each model walked, one thought of how these straps would whistle around the body in such desert winds Raeburn dreams of. With models’ hair tussled over brow, all windswept and interesting, one could almost feel the gusts about the show room.
This collection was by no means function over fashion, those traffic cone orange accents and desert camouflage patterns will be appealing to most, as too will the injection of tulle, moulded in unlikely shapes such as jogger and bucket hat.
Raeburn cites the 1956 book The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz - a story of a 4000 mile journey over the Gobi desert from Siberia to India - as the key inspiration behind this collection. Apt then, that this season’s mascot was the jerboa desert rodent, a creature with a reputation for travelling great distances at great speeds. Its ribbon-like tail not too dissimilar from Raeburn’s S/S 18 strips.
While the men were prepared for this phenomenal trek across the desert, kitted out in layered hoodies, field jackets and contemporary parkas, the women looked a little unprepared in their tulle dresses and asymmetric tank tops. Albeit beautiful, the womenswear didn't seem appropriate for any sort of cross-terrain exploration. My nit-picking is quelled by the final look however, a glorious cascade of safety orange tulle in trouser, t-shirt, hoodie and hat.