Christopher Raeburn Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
The MA1 bomber, the M65 field jacket, the T-shirt, the cargo pant…so much of our streetwear has a military source code. Christopher Raeburn’s great maneuver is to be deeply preoccupied with this provenance—to the extent that his Remade in England pieces are cut from recycled military surplus—without ever allowing his clothes to become antagonistically militaristic. This season’s campaign was based around anthropologist Tom Harrison, who “went native” in Borneo to such an extent that during World War II he was able to persuade the Sarawak people to fight for the Allies and aid in the rescue of a lost U.S. bomber crew.
This was ripe territory indeed for Raeburn. He played with his inspiration’s Borneo infatuation by integrating cork into mesh backpacks and waffle-cotton tank tops. There were sarongs. A wide-weave black bomber and track pants were based on tribal leaf baskets but looked like Bottega Veneta meets ACG. An expanded knitwear offering included a dizzying map-print of Borneo’s contours, and orangutan silhouettes in mid-swing. Borneo’s prime primate was also the muse for this season’s animal bag—proceeds from its sale will go to an orangutan protection charity. There was a very British authenticity—naturalist geek—to the oat-y marl of the pulled-high woolen socks worn with seemingly unreconstructed Clarks sandals, and there was an endearing Ray Mears-ish nerdiness to the width of Raeburn’s turned-up tropical-weight cotton trousers. Simultaneously, his wickedly cut Swiss denim parkas, Japanese synthetic Harrison-inspired check down gilet, bivouac khaki bombers, and perforated remade parachute garments (the opening section) were as 21st-century urban as anything you see in the queue of conformists outside Supreme.