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Christopher Raeburn designs new V&A staff uniform

Lauretta Roberts
21 December 2017

The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) has unveiled its new staff uniform created by British designer Christopher Raeburn.

Consisting of garments and bespoke accessories – from t-shirts to a tote bag and rainproof parka – that can be mixed, matched and layered, and featuring a print inspired by the V&A’s collection, the new uniforms have been introduced at the V&A in South Kensington and the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green this week.

The collaboration was a result of Raeburn's working having been featured in the V&A's Fashion in Motion series in 2016, and the new print featured on many of the pieces was formed from the silhouettes of 20 iconic objects 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 (1622-3), and an 1870s rocking horse from France currently displayed in the V&A Museum of Childhood.

The blue and orange palette of the new uniform takes inspiration from Raphael’s The Miraculous Draught of Fishes on display in the V&A and all aspects of the uniform feature classic Christopher Raeburn touches, including parachute details and a layering system. Raeburn’s ethos of responsible design means certified recycled and organic materials have been used throughout.

Raeburn said of the collaboration: “Exploring the Victoria and Albert Museum was one of my earliest childhood memories, I went on to study Fashion Design a stone's throw away at the Royal College of Art and 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”

The unveiling of the new uniform, the first in a decade, comes on the back of a successful year at the V&A, which saw the opening of the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter, blockbuster exhibitions from Pink Floyd to Plywood, record visitor figures, the opening of the V&A’s first international gallery as part of Design Society in Shekou, Shenzhen, and the V&A being crowned Trip Advisor Museum of the Year for the UK.

“It’s been a record breaking year at the V&A and our front of house staff are at the heart of our visitors’ experience day in day out. We are delighted to have worked with Christopher Raeburn on these brilliant, colourful, adaptable new uniforms. They are an exciting development for our team and a reflection of the V&A’s contemporary style, as we look forward to another ambitious year of activity in South Kensington and around the country," said V&A director Tristram Hunt.


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