The inspiration for the Dunelfen cape-coat came on a trip designer Zahra and I made to Iceland. It grew from the artful simplicity of Scandinavian design, with its emphasis on quality, cleanness of line, timeless simplicity.
But it has a touch of mystery, a paradox - its cowled hood suggests something magical, pagan, but its elegance and style feel entirely new and cutting edge.
I felt strongly that the naming of this cape-coat was important. It had to own both its old mystery as well as its newness – something re-made, re-discovered, not simply created.
Perhaps something of Old England reborn. And in my searching through Britain’s rich history, I found the Dun-elfen, the “high elves” of the mountains and hills and henges of these islands’ pagan past.
And so Dunelfen emerged - mysterious, English, hooded and beautiful.
...there were elves in the hills, dun-elfen; in the springs, pools and water-courses, wæter-elfen; in the groves and forests, wudu-elfen; in the sea, sæ-elfen; out on the moors, wylde-elfen...
dún-elfen e; f. [-ælfen a fairy]
A down or mountain fairy; castălis, ĭdis; f. one of the muses; castălĭdes, um, f. Ælfc. Gl. 113; Som. 79
Bosworth-Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary
It was important to me that Dunelfen be made in Britain. With noble cloth from Yorkshire, which has been at the heart of the English wool industry for over 300 years. 100% pure new wool washed in the soft, pure Pennine Hills water and designed and woven for us there by J H Clissold, a renowned Yorkshire Mill. The cape-coats themselves are made in London’s East End.
The Dunelfen family live in London. Rose, our Dunelfen Queen, is somewhat more mysterious. Sometimes she is in London…. sometimes she walks on Exmoor. Of course.
Phil and Paul from Yorkshire make our website. They are very patient and extraordinarily good.
Gaynor - Dunelfen founder