The arrival of Storm, Willis Street

    Take an idea, sign up for a windowless ‘serviced office’ so small you have to lay all your fabrics in the corridor, and embark on a design house. These almost Victorian steps were the origins of Deborah Caldwell’s STORM label, and now her seventh outlet has just opened, at 49 Willis Street, Wellington. It is spacious and enticingly lit. Moving around the racks is like touring. The range of garment types, materials, cuts and details is wonderfully broad. Such breadth pays tribute to Caldwell’s imagination and determination, all comfortable under the Storm label. The name, with all its hints of broodiness, dark colours, metallic graduations and flashes of light was not so much chosen, as arrived in Caldwell’s mind.
    There is humour and wryness in many of the garments, reflected in their names. For example, the illustrated jacket of smooth, caramel-coloured cloth is called First Officer. It has a pronounced military spirit, especially in Caldwell’s stylish reworking of the traditional shoulder boards. Instead of rank insignia, we have small lengths of brass tube and rows of rivets.
    Caldwell’s output is not rigidly dictated by season, although this is not ignored, but arrives in small, regular instalments so there is a freshness and a sense of expectation. New arrivals, interesting cuts and fabrics, and quirky names could all mean customers become regular visitors.