It’s been a decade since Christopher Raeburn’s debut LFW show, but his obsession with the radical is still burning brightly.
He’s always chosen to do things differently, transforming textiles destined for the scrap-heap into impeccably detailed pieces (and sometimes casually rediscovering disused tube stations in the process).
The statement that preceded this new release, then – ‘What could be more radical than making nothing at all? – would’ve been an act of self-sabotage for almost any other fashion house, which are usually quite set on the whole ‘making’ thing.
It’s entirely fitting for Raeburn, though – and fits the three Rs (Recycle, Reuse, Reduce) they stamped into their brand ethos years before others hopped onto the biofuel-powered bandwagon.
Titled ‘Refound’, all items are unworn military apparel (remember those Camden army surplus markets?), from desert smocks to parkas, flak vests to the wonderfully named ‘emergency poncho’. Every piece is sourced by Christopher himself, essentially making it a second-hand division of the label.
The scheme has been mobilised to fight against the hundred billion pieces of clothing made each year worldwide (that’s enough for fourteen pieces for every person on Earth). Making new things has become so run of the mill that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to fix, or even to take a hot second to enjoy what we own.
As many brands are now promising, RÆFOUND will be totally seasonless, ever-evolving with new military treasures assembled by Christopher. This first range focuses on EU armies (UK, France, Austria, Holland) with an aim to cross new territories incoming drops.
It’s an intelligent effort to combat fast-fashion and waste, spinning bog-standard vintage selling into a more focused, carefully curated concept.
The beauty is the fact that it feels like a new collection through its consistency and image. Really, though, it’s the old made new; an ingenious way to, if not as Christopher says, ‘make nothing’, make something from nothing.