Christopher Raeburn: Proudly Remade in England
Tanya Kalyan Online fashion assistant
10th May 2012
"Remember the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and Raeburn"
-Florence Kane, USVogue
When people ask me who my favourite designers are, Christopher Raeburn always makes it into my top five, ethical or otherwise. I just love how British his clothes are. His collections make me yearn for the outdoors, campfires, and my favourite Stone Roses album. So, you can imagine my excitement when I found out he would be hosting a talk on sustainability at M&S's shwop lab last Thursday...
Since his first appearance at London Fashion week in 2009, Raeburn has been a force to be reckoned with. Creating garments that are not only innovative, but functional, sustainable, and at times, down right radical. In 2010, he became the first ever designer to be awarded NEWGEN sponsorship by the BFC for both menswear and womenswear in the same year (previous recipients include the late Alexander McQueen).
It is clear that Christopher revels in the challenge of completely reworking a garment to make something new. Though he may take an oversized men's miltary jacket and transform it into tailored women's outfit, the new piece always pays tribute to the original item. Speaking at The Shwop Lab last Thursday, the British designer explained how he starts with an idea of the type of garment he wishes to create, but 'often things tend to design
themselves', as so much is dependant on the fabric he is working from, and its original function - whether that had been camouflage, protection or warmth.
His fastidious attention to detail and inert ethical stance have won him many high profile admirers, including Blake Lively and Victoria Beckham. But for Raeburn the inspiration is not merely aesthetic, the designer (and intrepid fabric forager) creates his garments by completely deconstructing old fabrics and reworking them into something new, and has famously incorporated everything from dead stock parachutes to Nomex into his collections.
'REMADE IN ENGLAND' - not only a patriotic reference to the fact his entire clothing line is produced in East London, but also in homage to the previous lives of the military garments he works from.