Royal College of Art graduate Christopher Raeburn is a Londoner that has done things his way, building an ethically-aware men's and womenswear outerwear-focused label that hit a chord internationally, at tastemaking stores such as 10 Corso Como. The British fashion award and NEWGEN winner has presented his collections at disused tube stations (Aldwych) and taken part in the Imperial War Museum's Camouflage exhibition – which is exactly what he talks about here, indulging once again in the pattern for the Victorinox Festival Ready collection, a brand he is fashion artistic director of. Launching exclusively with an e-shop, a festival app accompanies featuring GPS navigation, torch, LED messaging and audio flare...
I’ve been collecting military garments for as long as I can remember and collecting camouflages by default. I love the variety of camouflages created by different nations for their various terrains but also the playful nature (despite their inherent function) that many of them display. Often my interest is more around pattern in general and strong graphics – this is certainly something I explore with my personal archive.
The Spring-Summer [Victorinox collection] camouflage was an experiment that used a Swedish splinter camo as an early reference but quickly developed into an entirely unique print. What’s interesting is that it uses the iconic Victorinox cross and shield to make up the different panels – it’s only when viewed closely that the full detail of the parachute is apparent.
Function is a keyword for Victorinox and it’s really relevant with the range; the most obviously military-inspired piece is our poncho (recut in a feminine shape for womenswear) which of course is showerproof and packs easily away.
The camo festival vest is a warm, functional and a fun piece, incredibly lightweight and we wanted to tackle the eternal changing weather of a festival field – people want clothes that are easy to layer on and off. The entire range is made of highly specific recycled nylons, Victorinox is committed to using sustainable fabrics. The tote and rucksack includes plastics from household goods remade into high-quality durable product. Too many people leave rubbish and their tents behind at festivals, so our tents are technical and manufactured in partnership with Sprayway. They are quite beautiful for tents and we hope no one leaves them behind.
The Swiss Army Knife models have been chosen by Victorinox CEO Charles Elsener, of the company's founding family. They have fifteen or sixteen functions, LED lights and are properly useful camping tools.