Architecturally inspired dressing from new brand Francon Editions
‘I thought it would be interesting to place a focus on settings rather than seasons,’ says May Kaan, co-founder of the Rotterdam-based womenswear label, which launches with a lake house-inspired collection
We have items of clothing in our wardrobes that we reserve for specific locations: a fluid white cotton dress that’s fit only for white-sanded shorelines; a tweed blazer that’s strictly for the countryside; a snuggly Aran-knit jumper that’s saved for self-care in a remote house without Wi-Fi. These pieces have the power to transform us, evolve our character, create personal metamorpohosis through material. When May Kaan was concepting her fledgling womenswear label Francon Editions, this idea was front and centre. ‘I thought it would be interesting to place focus on settings rather than seasons,’ she says. ‘I thought a lot about when architects take on a job. They always think about context, environment, how a building is going to be used.’
For Francon Editions’ debut collection – which is available to pre-order – May had a specific archetypal building in mind: the lake house near Rotterdam that she owns with her co-founder and architect husband Kees Kaan, of KAAN Architecten. ‘I dress completely differently there than in the city,’ Kaan says. ‘We often have guests to stay, so sometimes I want to show off a little more than, say, when I’m in the office.’
There’s an easy elegance to the resulting Lake House collection, dreamt up in collaboration with Francon Editions’ head of design Fira Rietveld, who has worked at The Row and Calvin Klein. Think pieces which are exquisitely well-suited to an evening lounging by an open fire or for flaunting around a swimming pool: a satin jacquard kimono in fiery orange, etched with a hand-drawn floral print; wide-legged wool crepe trousers in frothy cappuccino; and a smocked sleeve shirt dress.
There’s a dazzling sense of ‘dress up’ to the Rose jacket, a narrow woven jacquard silhouette with a relaxed zip fastening, its glittering botanical details inspired by the Dutch Astrantia major flower. The Saskia dress, a hybrid piece that can be styled alone or with trousers, for example, has 41 buttons that can be fastened according to personal taste. ‘You could open it very high and wear it with a swimsuit, or layer it with another piece,’ Kaan says. For cooler evenings, the brand’s cosy fisherman’s sweater has an elegant boat neck and dropped shoulder.
For Francon Editions’ upcoming collections, May has a host of other archetypal architectural settings in mind: the tower, cabin, palazzo and chalet. ‘The concept behind “Tower” dressing is that you’re leaving your home in the city in an outfit that needs to work all day, perhaps if you’re going to the office and then to a cocktail party.’
When that way of life is back on the agenda, we know what we’ll be sporting. §