CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN CHANNELS ELLSWORTH KELLY FOR AW17

 

PHOTOGRAPHY Wanda Martin
WORDS Laurie Trueman


     Christopher Raeburn took note from the painter Ellsworth Kelly’s deceptive, groundbreaking and humorous pieces of work the Ghost Army and the Camouflage Secret Army to create a fantastic, recycled collection. It aimed to conceal, confuse and revel in a playful and innovative experiment of deconstruction and reconstruction.

     The mascot present in the show was the chameleon. Beginning with the physical show invite with a pop out chameleon in the centre, and furthering the notion with chameleon-like clothing that came in bright, changing, but similar toned colours. Concealment plays a role within recycling, and within Raeburn’s ethos towards clothing – to remake, reduce and recycle. This mentality saw him take deconstructed materials and turn them into bomb disposal uniforms, blankets and camouflage jackets, all handmade with care in the Raeburn East London REMADE studio. If recycling was the tone of the show, comfort and practicality were the key components that communicated the message. The oversized khaki jackets throughout were loose and comfortable, with backpack straps extending from their pockets, and amongst the sea of black and khaki jackets were grey loose fitted shorts to complement the usefulness of the jackets.

     Known for his exciting collaborations, Raeburn extended his chameleon notion through a collaboration with backpack company Eastpak on a range of backpacks remade with camouflage and fluorescent detailing. Raeburn joined with local denim maker Blackhorse Lane Atelier, to create a line of high quality, organic denim jeans, individually numbered with REMADE pocket detailing. Raeburn’s continuing collaboration with Clarks carried through this season with a series of heavy high-top boots, interpreting the core value of Raeburn’s brand – sustainability. This was achieved through utilitarian details taken from the clothing and replicated throughout the boots with military grade taping, mixed with high quality materials, for boots that are trans-seasonal, and made for extended wear. Usefulness was at the core for the Raeburn man, and longevity of practical pieces.