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Christopher Raeburn S/S12

Using vintage deadstock military fabrics, the designer staged a pop up exhibition at the Museum of London incorporating film, a large LED ellipse and loud colours

TextKin WooPhotographyEric Oliveira

The concept of ethical fashion is still an embryogenic one with only a small handful of brands like Edun making a strong argument for melding sustainable practice with chic contemporary design. But that’s the modus operandi of young British designer Christopher Raeburn who sources vintage deadstock military fabric and hi-tech parachute fabrics to create his own proudly British vision of Utilitarian sportswear. He followed on from last season’s presentation at a disused tube station in Aldywych with a ‘pop up exhibition’ at the Museum of London that incorporated presentation of models against bands of colour, with film and a large LED ellipse.

What that meant was we got a full blown immersion in the clothes themselves. Like the American designer Patrik Ervell, Raeburn’s primary fascination is with the noble outerwear garment – taking a sailor jacket or a mac and taking it out of its original context and making it relevant for today. But if Raeburn lacks Ervell’s perverse sense of drama, he still makes damn fine clothes that remains true to the brand’s core principles of provenance and function.

Dazed Digital: With the video and installations, was it to put the focus purely on the fabrics?
Christopher Raeburn: Absolutely. It was about the emotion you have when you go through those colours. They used to teach music using colour – and that always fascinated me. So in one of the rooms, we tried to have a really interactive experience with the LED screen and how you can get up close and feel the garments.

DD: How have you moved on from last season?
Christopher Raeburn: In terms of material, we’re working with jersey, recycled polyester, beeswax cotton and we’re still doing a lot of our Remade pieces – deconstructing and reworking the material. We’re showing new shapes for the outerwear and playing with these different fabrics.

DD: What’s the relevance of working with these materials?
Christopher Raeburn: It’s about being very considered in what we do. We have an obligation to think about what we’re doing. We’re still doing all of our production here in Britain also and there’s something quite special about that.

DD: If you could sum up an emotion running through the collection, what would it be?
Christopher Raeburn: I’d like to think that it’s quite experimental. We’re encouraging people to immerse themselves in the garments but at the same time really consider what they consume.