Thursday, 23 September 2010

London Fashion Week: NewGen - Christopher Raeburn

Rather than writing one long post featuring everything I saw at London Fashion Week I am going to split my posts by designer as I think this gives each one the attention they deserve.  My next few posts will cover the NewGen tent in which emerging British design talent that is supported by Topshop was on display.

First up is the charming Christopher Raeburn who was on hand at his stand to talk about his work.  Inspired by the great outdoors the collection offers jaunty cover ups that will have a great outdoors phobic like me clamouring to go camping in the soggy Lake District in style.

Raeburn constructs his garments from reappropriated army fabric.  Basically this means any ends of rolls or any fabric that hasn't met the army's strict quality control requirements for the production of soldiers' garments and would otherwise be disposed of.

Once Raeburn works his magic by cutting the fabric into utilitarian macs and anoraks, adding fabulous prints and interesting trims, you have pieces ready to be worn by the ordinary civilian as protection against the Great British weather.  I especially loved the polka dot prints worked into army camouflage.  Some of the features of the original material such as punched out patterning are maintained in the final designs to add interest and texture.

Not only is this ethically intelligent in that this material is saved from landfill but it is a very business savvy and innovative approach by a new designer in an industry where the start up costs to fledgling businesses can be prohibitive.

Continuing this philosophy of recycling check out his darling stuffed rabbits which he makes with the offcuts of his production line and cannily sells for £40 a pop in major fashion retailers to further help out with the cash flow of his label.


  1. Well Raeburn is certainly one clever guy - what an ingenious idea - a win/win for everyone. The army offloads their surplus, he gets to make delicious goodies from the stock!
    I'm looking forward to hearing more about your LFW adventures xo

  2. What a fantastic idea, recycling without the socks and sandals hippy associations. xxx


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