Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 20.48.13Is Christopher Raeburn the busiest man in Fashion at the moment ? Well, all signs and signals point to YES. As you read this post his Menswear Autumn/Winter 13 show for London Collections:MEN should be taking place, as he readied himself to present his womenswear collection next month, during the womenswear shows in London. Only last week it was announced by Victorinox, the creator of the Swiss Army Knife, that he has been appointed the Artistic Director of its Fashion Division. After they commissioned Raeburn to create a Remade in Switzerland capsule line for AW11. 2013 will see Christopher work with his brother Graeme, lead product designer with the Brilliant and uber trendy cycling brand Rapha, on a special edition capsule range for city cyclists.

He’s come a long way since appearing on a Fashion Design Reality TV Show, Project Catwalk. Launching in 2008, his collection was selected by the Imperial War Museum for their exhibition “Camouflage”. His signature collections consists of elegant outerwear for Men and Women which is made from decommissioned military stock, matching ethical values with cutting-edge design.

His Spring/Summer 13 Mens Collection is the embodiment of the two characteristics his designs have become known for: style and function.  The collection demonstrated his commitment to supporting the British textile industry, this season features fabrics either sourced from London’s Crescent Trading or manufactured by Halley Stevenson of Dundee.

In he’s first interview since becoming the Artistic Director of Victorinox, the NEWGEN MEN and British Fashion Award winner, gives us an insight not only into his forthcoming AW13 collection but what makes Christopher Raeburn tick.

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If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

Amazing question; maybe the Swiss Army Knife? It’s amazing to have invented something that so many people share an emotional relationship with and that’s so universally trusted and respected.

 

If you had one day to live what would be your biggest regret?

Not seeing the Northern Lights (yet); in fact not making it that far North in the world at all (or South). Not quite sure where my obsession with the bleakness and fragility of the Antarctic and Arctic comes from but I’d like to get to see them one day.

 

What inspires you?

Archeology, good design, animals, print, graphic, emotion, sport, colour, textures, happy accidents, travel, collaborations, provenance, technique, skill, aptitude, Inuit survival skills, BBC documentaries, Neil Young, pressure, age, reading, listening to people, teaching.

Who is your style icon? Why?

I always find this type of question tricky – I’ve realized that my icons have changed dependent on what I’m looking for or am interested in at that point. Steve McQueen has got to be up there but I’ve got a lot of admiration for Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

 

If you could give your teenage self advice, what would it be?

I wish I’d happened across Fischli and Weiss advise on work a little earlier so I’d probably ask myself to have a quick read:

1.Do one thing at a time

2.Know the problem

3.Learn to listen

4.Learn to ask questions

5.Distinguish sense from nonsense

6.Accept change as inevitable

7.Admit mistakes

8.Say it simple

9.Be calm

10. Smile

 

In your words, describe the collection ?

Strong, masculine, textured and rich in stories.

 

What was the inspiration for it ?

I’ve had a long-standing obsession with the Redsand sea forts; they were build during the Second World War to defend London. Essentially they’re seven giant metal towers that were towed out to the sea and then sunk to form defensive platforms; metal bridges connect them to one another. I’ve tried to design the collection imagining what it would be like to live in them today; we’ve worked a lot to bring interesting fabrics, techniques and detailing to the collection so that each piece really has it’s own story.

 

What are the key pieces in it?

I’m really proud of this season’s Pop-Out Parka; it’s a duel layer garment – the outer shell is constructed from 1950’s rubberized cotton capes mixed with foul weather trousers. We completely deconstruct the original garments and then re-work them into a new, limited edition piece – they all have the labeling “Remade in England”. Other key pieces include the Breton jersey range and the new accessories – we have some fantastic new rucksacks, satchels and hold-alls.

 

What track would always get you on the dance floor ?

Anything by Pulp, or Joy Division (although probably not everything). Am I allowed to say Fleetwood Mac?

 

How do spent your free time ?

Cycling is still a must for me and I’m keen on the odd challenge – last year I did the Welsh 3000’s (climbing the 15 mountains above 3000ft in 24 hours), basically I’m happy doing anything that gets me out and about.

 

What piece of clothing would you relegate to Room 101 ?

I was going to say shell-suits but couldn’t banish the 1980s childhood memories completely (rose-tinted spectacles I guess). Time and a place for everything I suppose.

 

If you could collaborate with one brand (Who you currently aren’t) who would it be and why?

I’m always keen to collaborate with brands where it can be a true partnership and make sense for both parties – John Smedley on Knitwear would be amazing. It’s also nice to think a little leftfield; Disney would be fun or I’d quite like to collaborate with a furniture designer or even product design.

What piece of style advise do you live by?

Layer up

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Spring/Summer 2013 Christopher Raeburn Menswear

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The term wardrobe staple is banded about all too easily within the style press, and yes, there most certainly are pieces which every stylish man, sorry let me correct myself, EVERYMAN should have in his clothing repertoire, a black single breasted suit, a decent white and black shirt, a good pair of brown brogues, a quality pair of Black Oxfords, a pair of well cut black/blue denim jeans, I could go on. But when it comes to selecting definitive outerwear, things become a little more difficult, the pea coat, the overcoat, the parka, all have there place and are great for different looks and occasions but a timeless classic and a fairly safe bet for looking good no matter what you put it with is the International Jacket by Barbour.

Now over 100 years old, Barbour is a fifth generation family owned company who have developed a unique understanding of clothing. Duncan Barbour, grandson of Barbour’s founder, was a keen motorcyclist. In 1936 he oversaw the creation of a one piece suit called the Barbour International. Made in dark green wax cotton, it was named after, and developed specifically for, the 1936 International Six Day Trials (ISDT) event. The International jacket, the world’s first wax cotton biking jacket, debuted a decade later.

The International became so popular that it was worn by almost every British Motorcycling team until 1977. In the 1954 ISDT, more than 70% of riders wore one. In 1964, The International was worn exclusively by the American ISDT team, which included actor (and bike nut) Steve McQueen, and the legendary stunt rider Bud Ekins, who “rode in” for McQueen on that famous fence leap in The Great Escape, which was in part responsible for elevating the International to its iconic status.

The design evolved in the 1950s. The distinctively slanted breast pocket developed for quick access to maps, essentially for modern urban living, don’t you know. The iconic black colour came about thanks to a link-up with Vincent motorcycles, ‘Maker of the World’s Fastest Standard Motorcycle’. Vincent machines were invariably black and gold. The celebrated black and gold Barbour International embroidered badge, however, only appeared in 1980, but soon became a fast favourite.

Today, the International jacket continues to be produces to a near-identical specification.  Beloved by classic bike aficionados and style connoisseurs in equal measures including Ewan McGregor, Viscount David Linley, The Duke of Edinburgh, Helen Mirren, Alex Turner and Rufus Wainwright.

Ian Bergin, Head of Menswear says of the International Jacket “ We have a rich resource in our Archive and draw on this on a seasonal basis to produce intelligently designed pieces for a modern consumer. Attention to detail, fit and finish are key in the Heritage area and we strive to provide a great rounded product which is totally fit for purpose but provides newness as well as value.”

 

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As the message says Merry Christmas Everybody, but also we would like to wish you have a restful, relaxing and stress free Yuletide plus, health, happiness and good fortune in 2013. Many Thanks for joining us here at Clothes-make-the-man.com please continue joining us day in and day out. 2013 is going to be an interesting year, I promise.

 

Take care & good luck

Thank you

A.M.

Hardly anyone looks forward to wrapping their Christmas presents, and of that few that do get some odd perverse enjoyment from this, very few people are actually any good at it. In fact because of this fact the sale of decorated gift bags have sky rocketing in the last five years. Now as you all know by now we at Clothes Make The Man get great enjoyment out of making your life easier and so to finish off our essential guide to all things Christmassy we have sort the wrapping advice of an EXPERT. Yes, none other then QVC Presenter and all round Crafting Genius, yes and I don’t use that word freely, Stephanie Weightman ! Let me leave you in very skilled hands;

 

 

For more information on Stephanie or tips on Crafting go to

 

 

As we hurtle closer to the big day, there is always, that male relative who is especially hard to buy for, why ? Because he has everything !!!!! You ask him every year, what do you want for Christmas ? Or you think you have the perfect gift idea, until you see him with it already ! Arghhhhhhhh how infuriating it is year in year out, well no longer, hear me, no longer. We at Clothes make the man hear and feel your pain and so we got our thinking cap on because, well we are those men who have everything and we can empathise, because, well me know how hard we are to buy for, so here are some ideas, folks.

 

 

What better gift idea for the man who has everything other then SOCKS ! No not just any old sock the finest Cashmere socks from Patherella from the finest of Sock e-tailers. Richmondsocks.com

 

Like us all the Man who has everything DOES have down time and like us all is partial to a spot of LEGO. Hey, this isn’t building a car or a house, oh no this is Architecture LEGO that has taken some of the finest examples of Modern Architecture and transported it to the world of the brick. See the Guggenheim Museum here, but you can also acquire the Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building and Burj Khalifa.

 

 

Mere mortal trainers like what we wear just don’t cut the mustard. Check these bag boys out from Gucci, no less.

 

The Man who has everything, finally will have when he unwraps this beauty from Prada come Christmas Morn.

 

Of Course, Smythson of Bond St, personalised Stationery, an ideal gift, when one is stuck for what to get for that bligher !

 

If you wish to share the same Tailor as 007 himself. Seek out the service of Designer extraordinaire Mr Tom Ford. Yes, you will have to dig deep into those perfectly bespoke pockets, but it’ll be worth it, trust me.

 

You can’t buy the man who has everything a simple off the shelf scent ! He can’t be smelling the same as us plebs. Invest in a signature fragrance for him. Boutique fragrance house Miller Harris offer this service where they will literally create your own scent, specifically for you from your instructions and personally preferences.