The idea of sportswear, unless done with a nostalgic parody, really bores me. I don’t own a waterproof mac, or a ‘hoody’ and I couldn’t tell you where the nearest sport shop is. So going to the Christopher Raeburn’s Spring/Summer 2012 presentation at the Museum of London last night, I must admit I had a very closed mind.
Upon entrance and by passing six giant inflatable squirrels, which played to my childlike amusement, I was ushered into a cinema screening as I travelled with the fellow guests into the garments we were about to view, through the sleeves and past the toggles, in colours of neon orange, dark blue and deep greens.
As we all moved into the second room which was decorated with long thick stripes of Raeburn’s reclaimed European vintage military fabric, the collection entitled, ‘Spectral Line,’ went underway as models froze in front of the brightly coloured fabric panels and remained still as hordes of viewers photographed, prodded and pocked the garments on unsuspecting models back.
The men appeared like strong adventurers in light blue wax cotton jackets and squirrel printed jersey trousers. Combine that with the brightly coloured t-shirts, ‘windcheater’ jackets in primary colours and women in oversized waxed Kimono coats that looked as though they were a child ready to jump in a very large puddle, made the collection seem not only feminine on the women, but also playful. A first in my view on sportswear. The Collection emphasised its playful side with the collaboration of Dr Marten brogues, and also broke down the typical outdoor look of ill shaped trainers and stubby boots.
Once the models left into a uniformed distance the presentation concluded with a room filled with the collection we had just viewed, hanging in tents in a room full of the trademark squirrels. As you trailed amongst the little rubberised creatures, the clothing became interactive, for every time you touched the garments, noises and lights would be displayed on a giant LED light display, summing up an amazing collection of adults clothing with a childlike approach. Making sportswear appear cool, with good design and of course with amazing giant squirrels.
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