Listings

    No events to show

Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Christopher Raeburn: the fashion designer who is working wonders with old fabrics

We've been championing ethical designer Christopher Raeburn for what seems like forever... so of course he made it into Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration with bells on. Here's a taster of what you can find in the book...

Written by Amelia Gregory

Design by Ruth Hill, physician rx Illustration by Dee Andrews

This week’s wet Monday was brightened up considerably by a trip to the Royal Collage of Art’s first work-in-progress show of 2011 – and before you ask, seek no, online I was not suffering from “Blue Monday” or the notion that yesterday was the most depressing day of the year. As Ben Goldacre (Bad Science) discussed over on his blog yesterday, the concept of Blue Monday was made up by a PR company, with the aim to sell more holidays in the months after Christmas and is being perpetuated by journalists reconfiguring press releases into actual articles, without through fact-checking, a type of writing describe by Goldacre aschurnalism.

Finishing on Wednesday, 19th January, the Work-In-Progress show is a great opportunity for current BA Students, graduates and the public to see the developing ideas in the fields of Fashion, Textiles, Metalwork and Jewellery, Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, and Photography. Whilst the photography and the filmmaking are breathtaking, warranting a trip to the RCA by themselves, I will mainly be focusing on the Menswear and Womenswear Year Two students.

Tariq Mahmoud

Tariq Mahmoud’s shoe was inspired by watching the penguins at the penguin pool of London Zoo. The unique presentation of his shoe within a fish bowl with a couple of toy penguins for company, was certainly eye catching, drawing your attention to the similarities between flipper and shoe.

This wonderful jacket half-suspended within the cloth, from it was cut, calls to mind Issey Miyake’s A Piece of Cloth or A-Poc (see Fashion Editor Matt Bramford’s wonderful article on Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion at the Barbican). Unfortunately I could not find a name to accredit the design too…

Aleksandra Domanerskaya

The RCA Interim show is a fantastic opportunity to see how ideas circulating within contemporary fashion are being dissected by students studying the craft. Aleksandra Domanerskaya’s oversized mac in a traditional plaid is a great example of how classic shapes are constantly being reinvented.

Orshel-Read

It was amazing to discover that one of Amelia’s Magazine favourite London Fashion Week designers Orschel-Read is still a student!
Design by Orschel-Read, Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Cherie Newing

In recent seasons, knitwear has exploded across the menswalk catwalks, from James Long’s to Morgan Allen Oliver via Sibling, designer after designer have reinvented a fabric which was once solely associated with 1970′s knitwear patterns. I loved Cherie Newing’s take on the ubiquitous fisherman’s jumper.

Sol Ahn

Menswear Year 2 student and intriguing illustrator, Sol Ahn displayed this breathtaking combination of a triomphe d’oeil shirt and cardigan with fabrics to match the illustrations!

Samuel Membey

Samuel Membery’s overcoat revisits the skinhead movement of the 1970′s, as captured in Gavin Watson’s collection of photographs: Skins.

Ruth Hill

In Womenswear Knit, Ruth Hill’s simple orange block print dress in an incredibly fine knit, was beautifully reminiscent of the artist Paul Klee.

Lily Kamber

Lily Kamber’s fantastic mixed media pieces used found objects to create pieces of jewellery more at home in the art deco settings of William Morris…

In the M.Phil research section, I came across the wonderful work of Jungeun Lee. Lee’s experiments with synthetic fabrics – creating garments without the need for pattern cutting, sowing, knitting or weaving – reminded me again of the ground breaking A-Poc (A piece of Cloth) and Issey Miyake’s latest venture, 132 5, an “experiment in steam pressed polygons of material” (thanks Fashion Ed, Matt Bramford!). Lee created her pieces by molding hot synthetic fibres into a 3D Structure.

Hurry up! What are you waiting for? Head down to the Royal College of Art before 5.30pm Wendesday 19th January.

Visit the Royal College of Art’s website for full updates on their upcoming in-progress shows and public lectures. I’m particularly looking forward to the collaboration between RCA MA Curating Contemporary Art and Goldsmiths MFA Curating students, Testing Ground: Time Scale.

Christopher Raeburn studied at Middlesex University in London, treat where a really good technical tutor made him keen to attend the hallowed Royal College of Art, order from which he graduated in 2006. He has become well known for his upcycling of military fabrics, although he has worked with everything from Eurostar uniforms to hot air balloon material. He sources parachutes, leather jackets, tents and ponchos from military surplus warehouses around England, but has increasingly started to import pieces from Europe so that he can make bigger runs. The military inherently overproduces so there are huge volumes of fabric and garments that will never be used – dead stock that Christopher is happy to make the most of. In fact most production processes are inefficient so there is always likely to be pre-consumer waste; for example, 10% of the parachute fabric that is made fails opacity tests. Christopher is able to give that fabric a new lease of life. Most recently he worked with windproof cotton from some forty year old Swedish snow parkas. Occasionally a company will contact him about a specific material they think he might like to use, which has been a great way to keep his collections fresh and innovative.
Gemma Milly Christopher Raeburn A/W 2010
Christopher Raeburn A/W 2010 by Gemma Milly.

Christopher Raeburn studied at Middlesex University in London, sildenafil where a really good technical tutor made him keen to attend the hallowed Royal College of Art, from which he graduated in 2006. He has become well known for his upcycling of military fabrics, although he has worked with everything from Eurostar uniforms to hot air balloon material. He sources parachutes, leather jackets, tents and ponchos from military surplus warehouses around England, but has increasingly started to import pieces from Europe so that he can make bigger runs.

Christopher Raeburn by Lesley Barnes
Christopher Raeburn by Lesley Barnes.

The military inherently overproduces so there are huge volumes of fabric and garments that will never be used – dead stock that Christopher is happy to make the most of. In fact most production processes are inefficient so there is always likely to be pre-consumer waste; for example, 10% of the parachute fabric that is made fails opacity tests. Christopher is able to give that fabric a new lease of life. Most recently he worked with windproof cotton from some forty year old Swedish snow parkas. Occasionally a company will contact him about a specific material they think he might like to use, which has been a great way to keep his collections fresh and innovative…

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Christopher Raeburn’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.

Tags:

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply