This is likely the last show we’ll cover from London this season, and in some ways it is an apt capsulation of what we’ve seen: plenty of creativity, even if it doesn’t always make sense. Creative innovation is one of London’s key strong points and a primary reason for paying attention to shows even when one doesn’t know the name. Some very creative labels start here and even the most quiet runway has the ability to start design trends throughout the industry.
When it comes to trends, the only one Raeburn picked up to any degree was the use of “danger” orange, that bright almost-neon color we most frequently associate with traffic cones and traffic signs. Not that the color appears all that often in the collection, but as with Anya Hindmarch earlier this morning, when it does appear it demands one’s attention. Does that mean the person wearing these styles wants to be noticed? Consider that this color makes it impossible to blend in with anything.
Outerwear dominated Raeburn’s collection, which is fairly normal especially for this season. Ponchos are the name of the game here and he both leads and finishes with asymmetrical ponchos, one of which is in orange, that are as attention-getting as they are functional. What’s going to throw most people, I think, are the asymmetrical collars on both pieces. It’s an interesting touch, almost subtle, but just enough to make one wonder if the poncho is slightly askew. Off-centered fasteners also add to that sideways feel.
Jumpers are another significant part of the collection. Buttoned up the front and loose fitting enough to almost pass as pajamas, the jumpers are a good match for the outwear. While there was an overall nautical theme to the prints, with sharks getting the pre-show attention, it was the photo-realistic bubble prints that received the greater attention on the runway, and most likely the same will happen in stores.
A couple of quilted ensembles looked quite warm, especially an orange set with a matching coat. The only way that look doesn’t get attention is if one is seated in a whole field of traffic cones. I have a feeling there were some other interesting dresses and skirts, but they were largely hidden beneath the outerwear so we’ll have to wait until they hit stores to have any real idea of the full look.
At the end of the day, outwear is where the focus is in this collection, and the creative risks Raeburn takes are ones that are likely to linger, at least for a few season. So it is with all of London Fashion Week. Sure, there were some misses and totally illogical pieces here and there, and a handful of collections focused more on practicality than innovation, but there was a tremendous shift in how we think about clothes this season that is almost certain to effect styling for quite some time. We can’t wait to start seeing these looks not only in stores but on people!