The designer, known for using re-appropriated military fabrics to create functional outerwear, welcomed press and buyers into a hall of musical parkas at the Museum of London. Key pieces from the new collection hung in colour-coded groupings on salvaged tent frames.
When pulled, each parka, jacket and pack-a-mac-style design triggered a musical tone and a burst of colour on the room-wrapping LED screen. Part ad-hoc organ, part sound installation, the singing jackets made of the room an otherworldly soundscape.
‘We were really interested in how we could do something with the LED screen, which was already here, and of course, how it could interact with our clothes and make something very special,’ Raeburn said in the midst of the a remade-parka symphony.
‘And I love the fact that, rather than just having a formulaic catwalk show, people have been really encouraged to come in and play with the garments—literally.’
Raeburn worked with a sound ‘wizard’ (named Dominic, but credited as ‘toot!’) to correlate the colours with different sound-feelings. Does he have a favourite colour in terms of tone?
‘I quite like the greens,’ he said. ‘The yellows are very zingy too.’
Elsewhere, street-cast models (including people ‘with daytime jobs from electrician to adventurer,’ according to the show notes) wore designs from the S/S ’12 line against room-length rainbow stripes. The tonal red, yellow, green and blue looks modelled against bold bands of colour created a fashion tableau that was anything but traditional.
‘I have these crazy ideas,’ Raeburn said, ‘and very kindly, other people help me to actually do them.’