Fforme Spring 2024 Ready-to-Wear collection

“I think our clothes come alive when you see them on someone,” said Fforme’s Paul Helpers a few days before the label debuted at his studio in Soho. “I thought we needed to take a bunch of looks and see the action in an intimate setting.” After showing two seasons by appointment only in the gallery’s Manhattan spaces, the designer was taking us to the DeMenna Center for Classical Music, where Leslie Mock, the “minimalist classical” percussionist, would provide a live soundtrack for the show. “Fforme is really for women to express themselves, I want to see them ruin our clothes; “Leslie’s going to be drumming really hard in a Fforme dress,” said Helpers, with a devilish grin.

and I did. After some delays and a false start – when Helpers could be heard from backstage saying “Five more minutes, guys!”, which the audience found hilarious – Mock came out, holding a mallet in each hand, and wearing one of Fforme’s signature T-shirts and a black skirt. She sat down. behind the drum kit and started playing. The first model stepped out in a long white jacket with an asymmetrical closure, paired with another Fforme signature black pleated top and a pair of wide-leg pants. Helpers explained how he was trying to do tailoring without sewing: no contact, no unnecessary layers. “There’s a lot of softness in the group,” he said. The jacket had the ease of a cardigan, with billowing volume toward the back where the elbow naturally bends, achieved through a curvilinear “reverse raglan sleeve” whose subtle curves almost look like a work of art. The black leather hooded jacket had neatly gathered cuffs that reached the elbows and had the same elegance as balloon sleeves on a decadent formal gown. It was shiny, slightly pliable—but not entirely soft—skin, ready to live in. “We kind of know who our customers are, and I would love to do a project where we can find them in 40 years and photograph them with their leather jackets to see how they’ve aged,” Helpers said. It was paired with straight leg leather pants and a stretchy leather shirt. There was another version in silver with a surprising mask energy that was only intensified by the short shorts and matching black T-shirt it was displayed in. It was like the uniform that boxer Hector “Macho Man” Camacho wore in the 90s.

Layers really are the name of the game at Fforme; It’s especially exhilarating when the layers are so thin and dance around the body. The long-sleeved dress with a plunging neckline was deceptively simple, but when I looked closer I realized that the seams were hidden under the sleeves, which were also cut into a kind of tulip shape with overlapping circular pieces, and swayed to their own rhythm as the models walked. It was worn with chocolate pants that were barely visible under the skirt, but it added a different tone to the walk. In another look, a simple process of layering two asymmetrical T-shirts – black over white – with a rounded hem and small cap sleeves created an almost romantic effect, as the ruffles floated around the model’s body. They were paired with a body-conscious — not so body-conscious — maxi skirt and simple thong sandals.

But Helpers’ talent shone in two gowns: one was white, sleeveless, and had a delicate, billowing volume that then tapered gently around the ankles; The other was made of pink brocade silk with pleats at the neckline and opened in a trapeze style with a deep scoop at the back.

This was definitely one of the most anticipated shows of the week, after last season’s show generated a lot of hype. “I’m hungry in New York for the level of clothing—subtlety, ease, and craftsmanship; “I think it goes back to things that happened before in New York, like Halston, Jeffrey Binney and Zoran,” Helpers said. “And I think we’re bringing that back.”

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