Last season found Christopher Raeburn
taking great strides with his womenswear. This time out, the designer was back in incremental mode, expanding on the precepts laid down in his previous collection. One look pretty much sums up the nature of the development here: The cropped jacket and track pants made from felted Teflon-coated lace closely mimicked a technical lace look in last season's show; in that case, the lace was glossy and lightweight, whereas here it was fuzzy, dense, and cold-weather suitable. Not too much to report, in other words, but then a huge part of Raeburn's charm is that he's got about zero interest in creating novelty for novelty's sake. To wit, he's been doing versions of his signature boxy bombers since he launched, and they've yet to become tedious. Today, the best-looking bomber was made from a crisp dégradé wool; the material also found its way into a sharp mac and a straightforward military-style jumpsuit, two of the standout pieces in the show.
Raeburn's emphasis this season was on graphics, a theme the dégradé wool got at quietly. A much louder interpretation was seen in the optical black and white stripes made from Russian Breton knitwear. Those stripes packed quite a visual punch, but in keeping with Raeburn's incremental approach, they also elaborated a graphics theme he's been exploring from day one, via his trademark grosgrain-ribbon details. The most significant development in this show was a subtle one, however: There was something about the way Raeburn's shifts were draped that made you sense that he was finally getting his head around the feminine. It was a hard-to-define, barely there change, but it was also noticeable in the details of certain garments, like a toggle coat with a capelike shoulder, and it augured well for the future.