Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
For my childhood drawings, I remember being able to choose from a massive selection of blue crayons, although it’s certainly much more so now in my memory than it actually was. They were the relics of my mum’s geology degree, for which she had hand-drawn, years before, a map of the diverse deepness of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Titled IMMERSE, Christopher Raeburn winter collection features a similar variety of shades, all distilled in multiple textures and fabrics to seemingly echo such depths: from an opening periwinkle cape with side poppers to signature military hues like a muted navy or air force blue, from the faux fur collar in seaweed green to a silvery, swirling pattern of tiny sharks, Raeburn’s seasonal mascot, on the gentle ripples of a silk jumpsuit. All of these were noticeably brightened with the re-use of original orange panels and fluorescent details from a recycled life raft in his REMADE line, together with anoraks and pea coats crafted from what were once naval blankets and uniforms. If the survivalist leanings of contemporary menswear have long been welcomed by most, many womenswear designers still fall prey to the allure of a more traditional, way more unpractical, feminine prettiness. Not Raeburn though – after a soundscape of crashing waves, recalling that of Leviathan a bit, welcomes us to the show, his models walk gracefully down the runway in their rucksacks and beanies and sensible gumboots, and the staples of a new elegance make themselves known: it’s clear that if they’re heading to the sea, it’s not to laze sunbathing in their bikinis.