That today’s world is a technological one is indubitable. Yet, it’s not every day you have a spiral rig set up with 100 Smartphones to each simultaneously capture a model sporting one of the hottest labels of the year. Nevertheless, that is indeed what happened when Christopher Ræburn teamed up with Sony’s Xperia Z Smartphone for London Fashion Week.
“Xperia Z Versus Fashion” sees model Sera as he transitions through four pieces of Ræburn’s collection, all by ‘exploding’ the clothes off him at three different intervals (an effect achieved by cutting the garments at the seams and reattaching them for ease of separation). The disrobing under low key lighting is captured by the advanced technology and watchful eye of 100 Xperia Zs, attached to a spiral rig 20ft long and 11ft wide.
This explosive element to Ræburn’s show fits well with the British fashion designer’s preoccupation with including martial elements in his label, and also with his trademark piece, the ‘Pop Out Parka’. A graduate of London’s renowned Royal College of Art (he has a Master’s in Womenswear), Ræburn has made a name for himself by the ‘re-appropriation of military fabrics’ and creating outerwear ‘from decommissioned parachutes’. The key ethic behind these designs is that they are sustainable, ‘luxury with integrity’ – a sentiment which saw him propelled into the mainstream by US Vogue in Autumn 2010, in a photo shoot with Mario Testino.
So, why the collaboration with Sony’s up-to-the-minute technology? Ræburn himself called the Xperia Z ‘the backbone of the project’ and left that side of his show in the hands of Creative Technologist Daniel Hirschmann and Developer George Profenza. Yet, the fact that the cameras shot in ‘bullet time’ created a freeze-frame effect which might very well be taken for a simulation of a (much sleeker) militaristic scene – perfectly melding with Ræburn’s designs.
Also, the Xperia Z is quite a Smartphone. Boasting a slim 7.9mm body with 5” display, the Xperia Z is both dust-resistant and water-resistant. Its frame is made of glass fibre polyamide (the same material that substitutes metal in automobiles) and inside lays a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor for speed, graphics and battery efficiency unrivalled by competitors. In addition, the Xperia Z has a 13 megapixel camera with the world’s first Exmor RS (image sensor) for mobile with HDR video, meaning superior auto and noise reduction, and producing ‘perfect pictures in any light’. This powerful phone is certainly worthy of a place alongside Ræburn’s militaristic haute couture.
The signature of Ræburn’s label is “Desirability, detail, function and fun”, yet it seems both his clothes and Sony’s technology could be coupled under such a heading. Available in black, white and purple, Xperia Zs start at £439, while Ræburn’s next collection for SS14 is a ‘dusty desert daydream’. Given that both are ‘rich in protection and layered surprises’, it could very well be said that the Sony Xperia Z is the Christopher Ræburn of mobile technology. The question is, which superior piece of craftsmanship to buy?