Explore the wild with Christopher Raeburn’s Borneo inspired SS16 collection.
Sand-tousled boys jostled about the Old Sorting Office this afternoon at Christopher Ræburn’s ‘Borneo’ inspired show. Finding its feet in the biography of Tom Harrisson – the problematic anthropologist – the men’s week favourite knitted abstract representations of Bornean maps – in reds, whites and blacks – into sweaters and tracksuits. Swinging Orangutang silhouettes adorned khaki and blue sweaters, while tarpaulin backpacks in the shape of the indigenous Bornean monkey were slung over the shoulders – upon whose sale a percentage of the profit will be donated to the Orangutang Foundation. On entering to a rather ‘tribal’ soundtrack, it was with great relief that the show itself eschewed any form of cultural appropriation – avoiding the use of jungle or tribal themes unlike so many designers in the past.
Ræburn’s penchant for the ‘Remade’ took form in almost all of the collection. Backpacks, trousers, tees and bombers were woven from thick camo-mesh and parachuting in blacks and blues. Khaki or camel tarpaulin hung from the hip like slit kilts over trousers initially, eventually segueing seamlessly into knee length draped skirts. Upperwear and backpacks were fabricated from woven cork – from panels to whole pieces – and one could really feel the designer’s wish to focus on something more natural here.
The oversized waterproof combats, mesh duffle coats with reworked camo panels, and pinky-cream tartan ponchos combined to give a fashion twist to practical, workable, ‘safari-wear’. Think Dad from The Wild Thornberrys gets a fashion update – in a good way. The concept was realised through so many different lenses, all while staying on beat with the true Ræburn aesthetic of wearable, sustainable and forward thinking.
Words: Tom Rasmussen.
Photographer: Anabel Navarro.