V&A Dundee has partnered with designer Kerrie Alexander and textile innovators Halley Stevensons to produce its first limited-edition fashion collaboration.
Museum, maker and manufacturer have united to create the Dundee Raincoat, a modern-day unisex raincoat inspired by the city’s innovation, creativity and resilience.
Designed and hand produced by independent fashion label KerrieALDO, the raincoat is made using waterproof waxed cotton, a performance fabric Halley Stevensons has pioneered the development of for over 150 years, and continue to manufacture at its Baltic Works factory in Dundee.
Following the KerrieALDO design philosophy of slow, sustainable fashion, each of the 20 numbered raincoats and matching bags were hand-cut and crafted using new unique patterns created for the collaboration.
The unisex fit raincoat, available in navy and orange, features signature KerrieALDO finishes such as coloured trims and an inner patch pocket made from Ancient Dundee Old Heavy Weight Tartan, a pattern which has not been used for 160 years and was recently resurrected by the Ben Nevis Handloom Weavers of Dundee.
Kerrie Alexander, founder of KerrieALDO, said: “Partnering with a design museum and a textile factory to design the ultimate contemporary raincoat has been a brilliant experience.
“I came across ‘the slicker’, a hooded coat worn by fisherman in the archives at Halley Stevensons, and this has had a big influence on the design of the coat, as has V&A Dundee’s contemporary architecture.
“As well as using superior fabrics like Halley Stevensons’ waxed cotton, a great design is always about the intricate details such as contrast detailing and pocket placement, right down to the very last stitch. The coat has lots of special details to the inner which illustrate the level of care and attention that has gone into each piece.
“A collar was discussed at an early design meeting, but having grown up in Dundee, I knew a hood was an essential feature of the Dundee Raincoat, to deal with the unpredictable Scottish weather!
“Designing a bag to match was a fun addition to the project. The bag is similar to the coat design in that it comes in two colour-ways with opposing contrast details. The pocket on the bag features a window-like opening to reveal a new colour, which reminded me of looking out to the Tay from the windows of the museum.”
James Campbell, Managing Director at Halley Stevensons, said: “The Dundee Raincoat combines authentic heritage with contemporary style which will be available at V&A Dundee’s design shop. We are delighted to have collaborated on this exceptional piece of design.
“Halley Stevensons is pretty unique in that we work in the same way with large brands as we do with smaller artisan labels such as KerrieALDO. There’s an understanding with our clients that we help them in any way we can, and they are part of our research and development with the feedback they give us in return. It’s an added bonus for us to watch brands develop with our product.
“Our collaborative process is always the same and we are exceptionally proud when we can support younger labels such as Kerrie’s.”
Christian Moire, Director of Operations at V&A Dundee, said:
“Our visitors tell us they are interested in supporting independent designers and shopping for unique items that have a local connection. Dundee based, Halley Stevensons supply international brands with their high-quality waxed cotton, so it was a natural fit for us to collaborate with them and KerrieALDO. We are excited to launch the Dundee Raincoat this Autumn and to have worked with two very inspiring independent businesses.”
The limited edition run of 20 Dundee Raincoats feature an embroidered number on the inner pocket and are available exclusively from the shop at V&A Dundee, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee. The coat will retail for £200 and the matching bag for £45.
V&A Dundee is open 10.00 to 17.00, Thursday to Monday, with advance booking now required for all visitors.
Free museum entry can be booked at www.vam.ac.uk/dundee
Photography by: Julie Howden