V&A unveils new staff uniforms by Christopher Raeburn

Just over a year ago, we moved the Spinach branding and design studio and Spinach Image to Hackney and into the Textile Building – a former Burberry factory where they made trench coats during the war. This is a vibrant corner of east London, dubbed the ‘fashion quarter’ with leading designers opening studios and outlets here. Amongst them is the award-winning British fashion designer Christopher Raeburn, with studios directly above us. So, we were hugely pleased to see he has been commissioned to design new uniforms for the V&A staff.

The collaboration came about following Raeburn’s collection in the V&A’s ‘Fashion in Motion’ series last year. The uniforms have a layering system, from t-shirts to a tote bag and rainproof parka, with flexibility for staff to combine with trousers or skirts of their own choosing, and feature a print inspired by the V&A’s collection.

In a range of blues and oranges, the palette of the new uniform takes inspiration from Raphael’s The Miraculous Draught of Fishes on display in the V&A, and blends with Raeburn’s signature colours. The print featured on many of the uniform pieces is formed from the silhouettes of twenty objects housed at the museum, including a 19th century Japanese netsuke in the shape of a rabbit, a spacehopper from 1970s Britain, Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s sculpture Neptune and Triton, and a 1870s rocking horse from France.

Raeburn says while studying fashion at the Royal College of Art, he would spend hours delving into the archive at the V&A. ‘So having this opportunity to develop responsibly designed uniforms for an institution so close to my heart has been an incredible honour.’

V&A new staff uniform © V&A, Shaun James Cox
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