Mirage: Christopher Raeburn SS14

British designer Christopher Raeburn effortlessly blends urban functionality with style and sustainability. His Mirage Spring/Summer 14 collection, which showed at London Fashion Week last Friday, displayed his characteristic ‘sports utility’, whilst giving a nod to a more feminine aesthetic: soft fabrics in warm pinks and nude tones contrasted with sleek, figure-hugging dresses, accessorised with matching clutches.

Christopher Raeburn's innovative Schoeller fabric with print inspired by satellite imagery of the desert

Mirage is inspired by the desert and its inhabitants, and the colours, textures and patterns certainly reflect this. True to form, Raeburn continues to explore the use of innovative fabrics, and for SS14, he utilises a four-way stretch Schoeller fabric which is printed with a design inspired by satellite imagery of the desert (seen on the dress and clutch above). Some of the Schoeller garments feature sleeves made of ‘Cool Wool’, a lightweight merino that naturally regulates body temperature.

Christopher Raeburn's Parachute Cape from the 'Remade' Desert Mesh range

In the ‘Remade’ Desert Mesh range, Raeburn’s signature repurposed parachute silk is combined with desert camouflage mesh. The outwear garments in this range include the Sleeveless Parka (top), Parachute Cape (above) and a Military jacket – each would make the perfect cool cover-up for an unreliable British summertime. The use of durable repurposed materials, ‘Cool Wool’, shower-proof laminated linen and Eco-PrimaLoft (an insulation fabric made of recycled plastic bottles) reflect Raeburn’s understanding of both functionality and sustainability.

Jumpsuit by Christopher Raeburn's in desert print - a hybrid of original ordinance survey maps and Victorian cartography

The Desert print - a hybrid of original ordinance survey maps and Victorian cartography – features on cotton separates in either pink or monochrome. The short jumpsuit (above) is multifunctional and can be unzipped at the waist to create two separate garments.

Christopher Raeburn's Textured Mesh bodycon dress

In contrast to the softer parachute fabric and hazy desert shades, the sports inspired Textured Mesh and Hexagonal Mesh pieces are more structured and bold. I am always drawn to a form-fitting dress and I loved the bright blue panelled bodycon dress (above) that was first down the catwalk. It was designed to flatter the figure and feel exciting to wear, but – I never would have dared say this in my teens - it also looks really very comfortable.

Christopher Raeburn's SS14 collection may well be inspired by a hot and hazy nomadic life in the desert, but its function, aesthetic and comfort make it a welcome ray of sunshine for a rainy, urban summertime.

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