The second dedicated womenswear collection from the designer shows him honing his definition of femininity.
It’s all about the word ‘flight’,’ Christopher Raeburn told us after his Spring Summer presentation at Somerset House this morning. It was an apt summary for a show that was punctuated with jumbo jet noises in the soundtrack, signature light-as-air parachute fabrics in the parkas and even flight escape maps as dresses.
‘Once we found them, it shaped the direction of the whole collection,’ explained Raeburn of the flight escape maps: originals from the 1950’s, they were printed on silk instead of paper so that even if a pilot got lost in the rain he’d still be able to find his way out.
Raeburn’s pilots were dressed in silk jogger bottoms, bicycle shorts seamed with grosgrain ribbon, simple shift dresses and silk jersey tees. The designer’s subtle feminine appeal comes via details like a fluid draped yoke on a silk bomber jacket, transparent layers of white-on-white, or a waist lightly cinched with toggles. It’s sports luxe for a bold dresser who doesn’t need to shout about anything as profane as sex appeal.
‘Now that we do separate men’s and women’s collections we can really focus on who the Christopher Raeburn woman really is. And this season that has meant experimenting with more feminine fabrics but still retaining that sporty aesthetic,’ explained the designer.
To wit, we saw parkas made from laminated lace and a new fabric called Ripstop cotton which from afar looks almost like broderie anglaise but up close has a faint camouflage pattern that’s the typical optical trick of the Christopher Raeburn girl.
Waterproofed, wind-proofed and ready to take on the elements, the looks were furnished with accessories such as roll-top rucksacks with multiple pockets for all the orienteering devices a Raeburn girl might need. Best of all were the little owl, dog and hare rucksacks – not as functional, perhaps, as Raeburn’s usual output, but hey, female aviators can have a sense of humour too.