Christopher Raeburn Menswear Spring Summer 2016 London
Playing to his strongest suit, Christopher Raeburn dressed his collection for the elements. This time the adventure takes him to the tropical terrains of Borneo in the Southeast Asian Malay Archipelago. The laser cut of the wooden invite set the tone for the technical precision of this season’s collection. Raeburn’s military-grade gear was fashioned after a maverick no less ardent about the outdoors than he is: anthropologist Tom Harrison, famed for his deep explorations into the geographical and cultural unknowns across the globe.
The design mantra was one of survival rather than artistic flair. Portability, efficiency, and durability were key tenets of many of the looks that walked down the runway. Models marched with stealth against the audio landscape of the rainforest’s torrential rain. The colour palette was selected to blend into the thick foliage of the jungle; only a close inspection would reveal orangutan prints and the cartography of the Borneo forestry. Raeburn’s Remade pieces – reclaimed military surplus that include air break parachutes, sleeping bags, and bivouac canopies – brought a dimension of sustainability that we haven’t yet seen at LCM. Sportswear details like the basketball mesh worked into the paneling of bomber jackets contrasted the ethnic reference to the Sarong of the indigenous people. The collection was synonymous with Raeburn’s ethos of designing with a consciousness of the wider global ecology, especially through the pairing of unlike motifs to highlight their connectedness. It couldn’t be more apt for him to set the scene in the rainforest (with its present demise), where the repercussions of the lack of such an ecological mindset are most keenly felt.
Beyond the conceit of Borneo, the clothes fit the lifestyle of that modern man navigating the urban jungle perfectly. Dressing with ultimate mobility seems evermore to be a luxury enjoyed by the urban male living in a big city. Perhaps that is the secret to making Raeburn the male designer of choice for many progressive men in London and beyond.