When in Stockholm pottering around the shops recently, Middleagedad and I discovered the wonderful Alexander Stutterheim and his rain macs. Based on his grandfather’s water poof, ancient old mac pattern, Alexander has designed the Arholma, a simple but beautiful rain coat in a softly rubberised fabric.
There are just two styles, the Arholma, which according to Alexander, will take a torrential downpour without letting in a drop (below, in black and white) and the the limited edition Kapellgrän, which will take less heavy rain and was designed by former chief designer at Yamamoto, Kumi Edström Kawaji (Alexander is wearing it above). Both are beautiful, available online, wearable by both men and women and are well priced at around £260-£300. All the coats are made in Borås, Sweden, which used to be the centre of textile manufacturing in Scandinavia (when quality was more important than price, as Alexander comments, dryly).
The black version has a soft black lining and is a complete classic, but I also loved the white version, with its charcoal grey lining. Each one is carefully made by Swedish seamstresses, Lena Borg, Ingrid Birgqvist and Birgitta Käll, who sign off each coat on the back neck label when it’s finished and perfect. The quality of each coat is really wonderful and better than many coats I’ve seen for twice the price. Alexander was an advertising copy writer until he started to make coats and he came up with the fabulously down-beat strap-line ‘Swedish melancholy at its driest’ for the brand, there is more of his no-fuss writing on the website describing the story of the coat.
Scandi-brands are having a moment currently, we sure hope someone has noticed this Rain Man and his coats, they seem a complete bargain to us and ooze Swedish cool (I mean, a white rain coat!) I am buying one before they are discovered by Selfridges and the price rockets, well, that’s my excuse.
In his little shop in Södermalm ( which he has named Regn) he also has some dead-stock Swedish military rubberised boots ( wellingtons to you and me) which are fantastic quality and have neat biker boot strap details and reflector strips on the heels. These are only for sale from the store, but if you are in the area they are worth deviating for.