British upcycling impresario Christopher Raeburn and Victorinox, the brand behind the Swiss Army Knife, debuted their Autumn/Winter 2011 collection at the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center on Thursday, the first official day of New York Fashion Week. For the eight-piece “Remade in Switzerland” line, Raeburn used decommissioned military uniform and parachute fabrics to create perfectly patinated outerwear, including unisex parkas, coats, hoodies, scarves, and caps.
“It’s really about the sounds of the garments,” Raeburn tells Ecouterre of the capsule collection, which hung from Eyebeam’s rafters as if they were set to mingle. In the background, a video by Regis Tosetti played on an installation of eight screens, made from whitewashed scrap wood.
Only 100 pieces of each limited-edition design were made.
To drive home the “musicality” of the pieces, sound engineer Dom Harwood looped together everyday sounds from the Victorinox workshop in Switzerland, the same historic site where Karl Elsener founded the brand in 1897. From the clack of shears cutting into fabric to the rustle of parachute silk, Harwood generated a soundtrack that was both animated and serene.
Because authenticity was paramount for the collection, Raeburn and the Victorinox team sourced antique sewing machines and recruited local tailors to produce the limited-edition designs. Only 100 pieces per look were made—all righteously reused in pure Raeburn fashion, of course. For his thoughtfulness and vested interest in sourcing, producing, and presenting sustainably, we salute him.