London Fashion Week: Christopher Raeburn's Arctic Warrior Women - Rolling Stone
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London Fashion Week: Christopher Raeburn’s Arctic Warrior Women

Designer plays with combative angles and textures

raeburn fall

The Raeburn Fall Collection

Courtesy of Raeburn/Exposure

Everyone from stylish winter athletes to fans of chilly techno atmospherics can find something to love in designer Christopher Raeburn’s Fall 2012 collection, “Freeze,” which romanticizes an ideal of arctic isolation. The seasonal, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo-like template – snoods, femme battleground attire, clothes designed to protect and serve – couldn’t help but surface as a potential connecting point, but Raeburn tells Rolling Stone he hasn’t even seen the movie. “I’ve been a bit busy,” he jokes.

Happily, as the hybrid of haute aerodynamicism and performance attire comes into its prime, Raeburn is at its nexus. During his London Fashion Week presentation at Somerset House, soundtracked wind from frequent collaborator Toot! whistled hollowly throughout the Portico presentation chamber as his models sauntered out, slowly and deliberately, pausing to turn to offer the audience different visual perspectives on each look.

His muse emits an uneasy sangfroid; she’s knowing and remote and seems ready for battle. “I always think that anything could happen at any time,” he confesses. His woman comes prepared for frost and friction. Layering played a crucial role in conveying this state of dress and mind: parkas were fitted over tech vests and billowing (yet sporty) midi-length skirts; socks folded down into boots; balaclavas and leather bonnets suggested both aviation and skiing as possible getaway methods for his warriors. Every model also came equipped with a backpack, giving her a dynamic silhouette of contrasting angles and volumes.

“It’s important to bring femininity and humor into it,” Raeburn says, regarding his jaunty usage of polka dots and bold hues throughout the wintry mix. It’s true: though the women looked ready to crusade, with a few unzips and unbuckles, she can disarm and party.

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