Upcycling is one of the easiest ways to add to a sustainable wardrobe. Not only can you update a sad looking outfit and but you can also stop unwanted fabric from ending up in landfills.
There has been a rise in the popularity of repurposing fabrics and unwanted clothing – Kirsty Allsopp advocates change in her show Homemade Home, as does Dawn O’Porter in her wonderful series, This Old Thing. However, despite its rise in popularity, upcycling is often seen as a cheap and amateur way of prolonging clothes, perfect for purse conscious, but not something you would expect to see on a high fashion catwalk. Unless, that is, you’re waiting for the start of Christopher Raeburn’s shows at London Fashion Week.
Sustainability is a key focus throughout Raeburn’s work. As a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, he became known for his use of decommissioned military fabrics. Repurposing fabric was a key ethos in his work as a student, and something that has carried through every collection since.
His latest collection, ‘ASCENT’, firmly cements his reign as the king of sustainable fashion. Keeping with the military inspiration that Raeburn has become synonymous with, eager LFW fashion goers were met with the sounds of low-flying aircraft before models took to the catwalk in a range of air force inspired clothing.
Raeburn wants the women who wear his clothes to feel “chic but comfortable wherever she goes.” His designs reflect just that. Maps and weather systems offered striking graphic prints, whilst drop waist dresses, loose fitting tops and sheer panelling created feminine silhouettes. Silk organza panels and lace corseting was added to black pilot compression suits creating looks that were at once fun, feminine and functional.
Beautiful bomber jackets and stylish cagoules were created from deconstructed 1960s silk parachutes. Originally designed for delivering aid the parachute silk is pink in colour lending a soft, girlish appeal to the garments.
Christopher Raeburn’s SS15 collection is the perfect example of sustainability and high fashion working seamlessly together. With sustainability at the heart of what Raeburn does, it’s exciting to think of where he might take the fashion industry in the coming years.