Fforme, the luxury womenswear brand cofounded by Paul Helbers, Nina Khosla and Laura Vazquez, is striding toward the hearts — and closets — of polished women.
The label presented its third collection on Friday, with Helbers digging further into his meditations on shape, material and construction — sculpting curves and draping ridges around a woman’s form.
It’s true that the rich minimalism look — now a luxury category of its own — is not unique to Fforme. But where the brand diverges is in its attention and respect for how minimalism can enhance a woman’s body, unlike other interpretations of the aesthetic that rely on rail-straight body shapes on which to hang their silk sheaths.
Where Fforme’s first two seasons cut clean cocoons, this third outing delved into pleats, smocking and incisions as a medium to carve shapes and enable mobility for a certain high-earning, busy woman.
The brand, as Khosla said when it was launched, is for women who think, work and move. Many of those women are not a model size, but have a checkbook and a willingness to buy things that make them look and feel good.
Helbers’ work in this space is subtle. On the back of a coat, an undulating strip of fabric along the shoulder seam both softened the torso and enhanced the waist — a detail that Helbers labeled, in his friendly Germanic way, a “controlled ruffle.” A tea-length puffer coat had its dolman sleeves purposely gathered close to the neck in order to create a feminine, architectural shape out of a garment that is, more often than not, a winterized human bubble.
“We wanted to create essentials and we are building from there. The two Fs in Fforme are really foundational and fundamental. We’re putting more emphasis on who we really are and that’s why I call this collection metamorphosis, because I think our sort of form is really coming to full exposure. That’s not a process that’s going to stop and every season I think we’re going to try and express that even stronger,” Helbers said.
Part of Fforme’s learning curve was unearthing how the fall season means different things to their many varied clients. A customer in the Bay Area, for instance, is not necessarily in the market for a heavy woolen sweater. And so the brand developed a range of options this year — from down puffer coats to light wool jackets, silk trousers and its first denim pieces — theirs in a crisp ecru.
Building a modular wardrobe, they also introduced luxury leggings and tight-fitting T-shirts as sort of layering shapewear that’s meant to peep out from underneath a tunic or abbreviated sweater.
“What we learned from the first season is maybe some of the pieces were not for all climates. That is part of discovering where your customer is, so we need to think in a very global way about how we structure the collection,” said Helbers.