christopher raeburn autumn/winter 15

This season Christopher Raeburn threw caution to the wind, with a collection aptly titled “RAFT” inspired by how you'd survive the formidable conditions of the open ocean. Anchors aweigh!

by Felicity Kinsella
11 January 2015, 5:25pm

The clues as to what would take place at Christopher Raeburn's autumn/winter 15 show popped up early, first with the emergency rations delivered alongside his show invite, and later as we awaited the start of it to the sounds of crashing waves and a choppy ocean. Part of Raeburn's ongoing REMADE concept, the first two, hazard orange looks out were made from the upper section of an original life raft, while the third, a black bomber was re-appropriated from the underside of the raft. The rest of the collection consisted of bold reds and blues, rust prints, shark-shaped bags, Great White motifs and best of all - inflatable jackets and blow up rucksacks, the likes of which we haven't seen since the 90s but would definitely be a seafarers bag of choice. Christopher Raeburn knows exactly how to float our boat! We perfected our sea legs backstage with the designer...

Where did the idea of the life rafts and surviving at sea come from?
Well we're quite well known for our REMADE concept and each season we reuse and reinterpret things. This season I had access to some 25-man life rafts which are quite beautiful things, and everything stemmed from that. What's cool is that they come in these beautiful capsules with everything inside them - rations, flares - and the whole colour palette stemmed from those original pieces. The first three looks were REMADE, and then it was reinterpreted into the inflatables and everything else.

What do you actually get on a life raft to help you survive?
It depends how big it is but you get some rather nice biscuits, quite a lot of water, a fishing kit, first aid…

How long can you survive on one?
Two months, but you would definitely have run out of I Spy things by then!

The inflatables are brilliant…
Thank you! We send them flat packed and then you can blow it up to the amount you need. What was cool is that we had to fit them all to the models, so the more inflated it was, obviously the bigger it was, but what's so nice is once you've been wearing them, they heat up so they're quite functional as well.

And you wouldn't need a life jacket with one of those.

Last season you focused on planes in the Desert Boneyard, this time it's life boats, are you going to carry on that sort of theme?
For us, the concept is so important and it's so nice to immerse yourself in a world for six months and then move on. These different environments are always fascinating. That idea of being prepared and having everything you need - long may it last.


Text Felicity Kinsella
Photography Ash Kingston

London Collections: Men
Christopher Raeburn
autumn/winter 15
london menswear