Rethinking the Raincoat: Norwegian Rain Collection London 2014

Presenter Stefanie Rycroft Jones meets the duo behind Norwegian Rain: T-Michael, bespoke tailor and designer, and Alexander Helle, creative director and manager for the label.

Halle declares his hometown of Bergen, Norway, to be the rainiest city in Europe—and the often-inclement weather is what inspired the brand to head into protective clothing against the elements. Now the label’s sharply tailored raincoat technology has been extended to heavy winter coats for the Autumn/Winter 2014-15 collection.

Most people would shudder at the thought of wearing a raincoat—images of unfashionable, plastic ponchos run rife—but Norwegian Rain has turned this idea on its head with this new collection. The collection is not only full of stylish pieces, but also perfectly breathable, windproof, water repellent and environmentally friendly: the high-tech fabric from Japan is made of 100 percent recycled material.

Innovative technology developed for offshore industries and extreme weather conditions also features in Norwegian Rain’s winter coats, making them suited to all types of weather while retaining a svelte silhouette. “It doesn’t look like it’s waterproof, but it takes any weather,” says Helle. “It rains all the time in Bergen, so we need something that is hardcore—but we don’t want it to look like it’s hardcore, and therefore all of the technology and everything is hidden.”

Designer T-Michael says of the label, “Norwegian Rain is basically a fusion between tailoring, high-tech protection and Japanese sensibility, so everything that falls within that realm is part of our inspiration.” According to him, the success of the designs lies in the use of fabrics that look like tailored fabrics, but are actually completely waterproof. He describes the venture as “Enhancing and stepping up the ante on the raincoat.”

Norwegian Rain definitely delivers on style and functionality.

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