It’s cold up north. And even colder even further up north. Its there the winds curse and get bitterly into your being and make you hurt. Though there’s something in the air, something about its cleanness that produces such stark, almost shocking scenery. Such captivating imagery. With its whites and stone greys. Rock striations delved deep in black.
And it’s up there, in the cracks of ice and concrete, that Finnish menswear designers FRENN find inspiration for their (mostly) monotoned Autumn/Winter 2017 collection.
Taking inspiration from the grid-like design of Helsinki’s streets, FRENN AW17 is heavy in checked patterns. With the classic blues, blacks and greys, it’s what you know, just a little bit different.
I can’t help but see the bleeding influence of punk in the tartan and ankle-cut trousers. A more rural, refined punk, but the definite twinges of defiance are no less there. And this is certainly deliberate, FRENN are exploring new shapes and different volumes with this collection. Conspiring to create a twist on their well worn standards.
There’s an argument here. A conversation about which materials are supposed to suit what shapes. A jostling for primacy – does the design win, or the fabric itself? The argument is only – can only be – settled by the individual wearer.
Rich in wool, alpaca and mohair, each garment is designed for comfort as well as style. Their SIMO trousers are the perfect example of how FRENN are playing with classical cuts. The kind of trousers a young Shane McGowan would be seen bowling around in; non-conformingly sleek.
The ONNI is their tailored long coat with asymmetric buttoning. Sporting a more relaxed shoulder line, it’s a striking shape and perhaps the stand-out piece of the collection for me, next to their trousers – ideally paired with Chelsea boots. This is certainly a smart collection with some ponderous pieces that would suit almost any wardrobe. Keep in the know: