London Fashion Week: Christopher Raeburn

I’ll always remember seeing Christopher Raeburn speak about his fashion career last year. I was slightly starstruck to be on the front row as he perched on an awkward wooden stool just feet in front of us and shared his stories. But the thing that stuck in my head was him saying how he’s actually still pretty broke, even though people assume the opposite. I liked this at the time and I still like it now; it’s his own nonchalant brand of honesty. So going along to the show today, I was looking forward to seeing this love of his craft reflected in the clothes. And it was, oh it was.

It was a collection of hybrids. Fluid, half and half shapes constructed around a body. My favourite of the hybrids was the parka-cum-kimono combo. Suddenly the kimono is no longer that floral, fringy thing we all wore in the summer of 2014 and then stowed away for the year but a main, hooded player in our autumn wardrobes! In Raeburn’s world it appeared in marbled colour running haphazardly over silk with no front fastenings, billowing freely as the model walks and falling down at the back into an elegant draped hood. In my head I’m already testing more life appropriate colourways, seeing rich forest green, navy and caramel – after all the classic trench was getting pretty lonely as the only true transitional coat. No buttons and a cape-like hood is very much the way forward.

I could probably (definitely) witter on until the end of time about the birth of the parka/kimono but there are other important things to say. Like pinstripes for example; rendered especially Nineties on a navy blue base. And the peplum dress – plain at the high, round neck and short sleeves before exploding out into a mini drop waist skirt. Not usually the most flattering of dress shape but worn under a mid length duster coat or longline jacket with classic flats it suddenly becomes quite chic.

The pink was a surprise against the otherwise fairly utilitarian Raeburn palette, in the form of a little raincoat and skirt combo as well as a parka/raincoat with multitudinous pockets (see, another hybrid). Plus – you guessed it, another cheeky hybrid – arrived in the shape of a longline bomber jacket. Not like boyfriend proportions (i.e. oversized) but beautifully fitting; just long. Actually very elegant when worn zipped to the top with hair scraped back. Yet another spring jacket option for us.

So, plenty of food for thought as far as spring layering goes. I’m taking bets on which high street brand will jump on the parka/kimono bandwagon first….

London Fashion Week SS15 runs from Friday 12 to Tuesday 16 February. Stay tuned for further coverage…

Photo by Charlotte White

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