The sound of crashing waves and bubbling, underwater sounds eddied around the benches as guests filed into the show space in the courtyard of Somerset House, eager to see what Christopher Raeburn has in store for for AW15 with his newest collection, IMMERSE.

Perhaps his most diverse to date, the line encapsulated the textures and themes of the ocean in twenty-four outfits, ranging from slouchy casual to swirling chic, with a touch of playful in shark-themed accessories.

As expected, the collection was constructed on the designer’s signature pieces we all adore – a cosy parker, a printed knit, a quilted jacket – but new shapes and styles intertwined themselves with these classic features to build a fresh take on the Christopher Raeburn uniform. Last season’s culottes became skirts, from mini to midi; dresses evolved into shimmering jumpsuits or grew pinafore braces and coats morphed into angular capes, flowing down the runway.

Known for his exceptional ability to recycle utilitarian fabrics into fashionable yet functional clothing,   Raeburn once again astounds us with the way he takes both inspiration and material from aspects of the world we live in. With a nod to his menswear collection, presented mere weeks ago at The Old Sorting Office, the life raft once again appeared on the catwalk, providing a flash of colour amongst a palette of former naval blankets, whilst its reflective stripes danced on sports-influenced pieces.


Yet it was not all make do and mend; unique Japanese wool denim made its debut next to bubble-printed silk shirtdresses, and fur touched collars and hoods, adding a feeling of understated elegance to the line and subtly shifting the focus from the outerwear the brand has come to be synonymous with.


Knitwear made by the fab team at Wool and the Gang accompanied the models down the runway; shark mittens are sure to be seen hanging from many a coat sleeve come Autumn.

As the designer stepped out for his applause, appearing slightly bashful in his own shark-printed wool jumper, one couldn’t help but wonder how one man has managed to yet again tick every box. From functional to feminine, something old to something new, work day to weekend, Christopher Raeburn’s life at sea beckons, promising fair weather and a steady breeze.


Originally written for WJ London.


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