The Spotlight | From Britten P/L

This month, BoF shines its Spotlight on From Britten P/L, an under-the-radar menswear label from Melbourne, Australia, now in its sixth season.

From Britten P/L Autumn-Winter 2013-14

MELBOURNE, Australia — When BoF met From Britten P/L designers Alexander and Tim Britten-Finschi, the brothers were in the middle of a stressful and rather messy home move that was totally at odds with their clean and uncluttered design aesthetic. Indeed, in their almost clandestine studio, hidden amidst the bustle on Melbourne’s Flinders Lane, this season, the two recent winners of Australia’s National Designer Award at L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival, have produced a small but winning collection of sharp, pared-back and sophisticated menswear.

On a wool coat that has been heat bonded with two panels of rubber to create a dynamic finish of textural duality, the technical elasticity of the rubber and the familiar comfort of wool are spliced together beautifully. A pair of trousers has a waistband that expands upon being worn, but it’s been so discreetly packaged that only the gentleman wearing the trousers is in on the secret.

The duo is inspired by the late Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who reinvented the use of curves in modern civic architecture, a signature the brothers have applied to elements as seemingly banal as a pocket. Alongside its aesthetic appeal, the approach has smart functional advantages too. The curvature of the pocket neatly locks a mobile phone into place.

Before launching From Britten (their first collection was shown until 2010 at L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival) the brothers experimented with a range of artistic disciplines, but were continually drawn back to fashion, which is perhaps not entirely surprising given that their mother is Melbourne eveningwear designer Linda Britten. “We probably learned fashion through osmosis,” says Alexander Britten-Finschi, 26, who trained as a photographer. “We were exposed to it through our mother’s business and it was always what we wanted to do even if we didn’t know it.”

From Britten P/L for BoF

From Britten P/L for BoF

This month’s Spotlight features a custom BoF logo designed by From Britten. “It’s very true to our reductionist spirit,” says Alexander Britten-Finschi. “We’re interested in the nuances, the subtleties, the things that become clearer when you take a closer look.”

“Menswear is slower moving [than womenswear],” adds Tim Britten-Finschi. “We like to take time to design. There’s a nice sense of evolution when you do something and the idea’s not thrown away because it’s being replaced by another idea. We refine.”

Currently, From Britten, now in its sixth season, is stocked at Customer Store on Flinders Lane in Melbourne, an intimate store carrying tightly-edited selection of menswear. But the brothers have big plans. “[We aim to] expand in the Australian market in a really controlled way, leading to steady growth and then infiltrate the international market,” says Tim Britten-Finschi.

Their infiltration may come sooner than they believe. On the day BoF met the Britten-Finschi brothers, they had just received an email from Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani inviting them to present their work at the Milano Unica textile fair in September. The fair is sponsored by Woolmark and, this year, only six brands have been invited to present.

As the designers grow their business — day to day, garment to garment — it is with great pleasure that we shine this month’s BoF Spotlight on From Britten.

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  1. I enjoyed reading this article.

    *now back to studying finance*

    Michelle C from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. Such interesting colour blocking on those blazers! I’m intrigued to see more post-Milano Unica.

    Alec from Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, United Kingdom
  3. I like the combination of architecture and clothing. I personally am a fan of Oscar Niemeyer and it’s interesting to see how they cooperate his idea by employing a touch of curvature that often links to femininity in a menswear line. I wish there could be more pictures though, because I really want to see more of their clothes?

    Yen from Hanoi, Ha Nội, Vietnam
  4. What an interesting label, actually. I have to mention that apart from the photo, the article itself was one of the reasons that prompted me to look further into the brand. Very enjoyable to read.

    Christos M from Athens, Attikí, Greece
  5. amazing writing! great job hung.

    taylor from Cambridge, MA, United States
  6. Wow, well done hung! Definitely enjoyed reading this!

    tomwearingtoms from Malaysia
  7. Interesting article, well done Hung!

    Ella Wood from Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
  8. great article, look forward to reading more of your work hung!

    David from Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
  9. You never cease to amaze me, Hung! Congratulations on your first published article! A very great article, I am anxiously waiting for more!

    Melanie from Glen Cove, NY, United States
  10. It’s so great to see menswear get more recognition in Australia, which has been virtually invisible for so long. Good luck to From Britten!

    Michael from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  11. Great article Hung! I think it’s so important to support dedicated up-and-coming designers and I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of From Britten P/L as they begin to expand into the international menswear market.

    Adeline J from Box Hill, Victoria, Australia
  12. Hung! First of all, congratulations of the highest degree. You utterly deserve this. Second, your article is fantastic. I’m not saying this because I love you, it is.

    Editorial writing can be hard, especially working in quotes, but you did great and I can just feel your usual writing style peeking through.

    Also, those blazers up top are divinity.

    Kate M from Austin, TX, United States
  13. Interesting article! Congratulations, Hung! You deserve it.
    Looking forward to your future articles.

    R from Tokyo, Tōkyō, Japan
  14. I enjoyed this article very much, it’s always nice to read about up-coming labels, especially when they’re so interesting. Well done Hung!

    Federica from Predazzo, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
  15. Really enjoyed reading this article. Nice to hear about upcoming designers (especialy in menswear), their inspirations and how they got started. This article was really well written, especially the description of the clothing! I look forward to reading more!

    Tuileries from Sanford, FL, United States
  16. Really an interesting article!

    Erica from Burnaby, BC, Canada
  17. Congratulations, Hung! I really enjoyed this and I’m happy for you!

    Dimitris from Greece from Messenia, Greece
  18. fab arti hung. gtg now. so busy. love u mean it. xo

    GERALD from CA, United States
  19. Great article. Interested in hearing more from them.

    siddisse from Hyattsville, MD, United States