The debut brand specialising in luxurious modular dressing that takes the idea of uniform to a new level
What do you wear when you are looking for a clean slate, a breather? That dilemma was the starting point for veteran luxury designer, Paul Helbers when taking up the helm at Fforme, the newly launched American label founded by industry veterans Laura Vazquez and Nina Khosla. The Paris based designer with a track record in quietly subversive luxury (he headed up menswear for Louis Vuitton, Maison Margiela and The Row) put his thinking cap on formulating a way of dressing built on interchangeable streamlined components crafted in best-in-class materials and with minimal embellishment.
In the flurry of Paris fashion week, quietly spoken Helbers introduced Edition 2 of the collection presenting it at a Left Bank gallery space to a select audience. In a season of crazy experimentation, the brand offers a measured kind of cool that appeals to all of us who desire a real wardrobe over hype.
The upshot is a vision of confident ease with fluid tunic dresses in springy eco viscose knits slinking over gently flaring pants, double face organic cashmere jackets and techno faille edge to edge coats. “We are whispering and not shouting. We are not trying to dictate one look,” says Helbers of the Made in Italy brand that launched this Winter. But what separates plain speak clothing from Fforme’s smart thinking design is down to Helbers’ way with fabrication, silhouette and cut. The Royal College of Art trained Dutchman is obsessed with the architecture of clothing and the modernist principles of clean design.
The Maya T-Shirt for example, drapes and stretches to encircle the body so that it can be worn in a variety of ways; the Wei coat has a chimney collar, drop shoulders and rounded sleeves so that it contours the natural body; while Nina is a floor-length dress from superfine merino wool that would dress up for dinner or parcel one up for a long-haul flight. “We built the pieces in a way that people have ease and comfort without needing major alterations,” says Helbers of the unrestrictive shapes that play off translucency with opaque to sensual effect. The repertoire of styles will expand season on season with designs made to multi-function and interchange. Edition 2 sees the debut of the Envo bag, an elegant calfskin envelope.
This level of sartorial serenity does come at an investment price yet the promise of longevity and multiple wears is today what we consider ‘value.’