Established in 2019, emerging fashion brand FINE CHAOS often explores the duality of the coming generation where rebellion and art of expression meet. This season, the designer behind the label draws inspiration from the community surrounding him thus “Ripple Effect”—an event that causes a series of other effects to happen, like ripples expanding across the water when an object is dropped into it—is a collection of garments that elevate how design communicates and creates understanding.
Made completely from deadstock or upcycled fabric, FINE CHAOS masterfully presented a decidedly detailed collection that plays out various archetypes of underground communities flourishing in Copenhagen. “For this collection, the inspiration is the everyday human here in Copenhagen. Everyone has been a part of the journey.” He adds, “I think what we’d really like to focus on is what community means to us and how it’s slowly building.”
To understand more about the brand, we caught up with the designer behind FINE CHAOS to discuss the collection in detail, learn about Copenhagen’s fashion scene, and more. Read on for our conversation.
Can you explain the concept behind FINE CHAOS and expand on the notion of rebellion and art of expression coming together?
FINE CHAOS happened from looking at my everyday life, it’s an oxymoron or two opposites that are combined. It represented my life and how every day I wake up, it’s messy but it’s a controlled mess. I remember looking back at my creative process and it was all messy but I liked it. I tried to clean it up but I found the beauty in the rough, and that was actually where the term came from. When you can build this feeling or aura inside as a human being, that’s also what’s important to the brand and this collection.
Can you speak about how the Copenhagen fashion industry has changed in recent years?
It’s not changed fast enough in my opinion. The Scandinavian style has become more dominant; a lot of the big brands are not taking chances because they’re afraid of not hitting the target group. I still feel like there’s more room for storytelling, it is evolving though. There are a lot of really good students that graduated this year which are definitely the opposite of the current Scandinavian style, way more expressive. This generation that we’re a part of, there’s a wave of very fluent and expressive creativity but I think it’ll take some time before we see a new side of Danish fashion.
It’s very commercial right now and we need to redefine what is commercial in some sense. I believe when you talk commercial in a Scandinavian sense, it’s very small and the word itself is often seen as negative but I see it in a very positive way. It’s slowly moving towards more expression and less we’re playing it safe.
In the brand’s archives, you mentioned being inspired by all-over printed flower dresses. Although, aside from that, what are some of the design inspirations for your work?
For this collection, the inspiration is the everyday human here in Copenhagen. Everyone has been a part of the journey. I think what we’d really like to focus on is what community means to us and how it’s slowly building. The community is lifting us so this collection is paying to homage to the people around us but also looking broader. The name “ripple effect” comes from when water goes down and creates a ripple and it grows larger and larger, but it’s also a term for if an event happens in society, it can spark more events.
This collection arrived in collaboration ACHTUNG, with whom you all seemingly share a love for expression through fashion. What are the standards in deciding who to collaborate with?
We want to collaborate with people that can do something we can’t, and that we find inspiring. For example, the collab with the two artists—tattoo artist Studio 39 and the painter Carolina Fabiani—was so fascinating. It was amazing to see how he was working and his focus. It kind of reminded me of how I hand stitch, which I find funny because of the similarities. When we do collaborations, we want to work with people that can give us new ideas and new inspiration. We want to get out of our comfort zone and get challenges as well.
If we just work with another clothing brand, you get new ideas but you don’t get new craftsmanship and that’s very important every time we do a collaboration. That means that the products that you’re putting out are going to be that much more meaningful. Not only because you combined two craftsmanship, but because you’ve combined two communities if that makes sense. We also have a vinyl record on the way, in collaboration with four DJs from the rave club Ved Siden Af.
Obviously, in some of the latest shirts and trousers, deadstock or upcycled fabric like poly-satin is made us of. I’m curious to know your thoughts on high fashion’s relationship with streetwear?
My interest in fashion was born from streetwear in 2011. I think it merges more because accessibility has become better for people and I think that’s a good thing. Fashion should be for everyone, and more inclusive than it is also at this moment. We’re definitely moving in the right way. I don’t see why people talk about streetwear being a negative thing. I think it brings fashion to more people and that’s not a bad idea. It’s many times seen as boring or lazy, but that’s where you really make fashion for everyday wearing.
There’s a lot of practicality and comfort in addition to aesthetics of course. It’s nice to see aspects of high fashion like a really good finish and expressive designs and put that into an everyday context, I love that.
What are your thoughts on the fashion industry’s shift into sustainability?
I started studying Sustainable Design at Copenhagen School of Design and Technology and it’s very disappointing in some sense because I feel if we were more honest and transparent in some sense it would become way easier. If you said that “we’re not sustainable yet, but we’re trying,” that’s better than saving the world when you’re not. A lot of designers are in a situation where they’re making clothes, but we already have enough so why are my clothes meaningful? You have to find a meaning with the clothing.
How do you see your FINE CHAOS collections evolving in the future? Do you start from scratch every time or do you pick up where you left off?
That’s a good question because this is only our first runway collection. We need to be recognizable and there are many ideas that I haven’t yet fulfilled with the runway. For example, we make clothing that is androgynous. The whole thing with creating androgynous clothing is finding out what silhouette does it have, what expression does it have. Normally, when you make menswear you focus on a man’s body and when you make womenswear it’s the women’s body. So what’s the in-between? It also needs to look good on all genders and still have attitude. I really have quite a lot of ideas that we want and need to bring to life, and it’s going to be exciting.
Talk to me about your plans to develop the brand and your goal in terms of its longevity over the next few years.
When we started this year, we made a list of goals for 2022. We want to show everyone who we are, and what our values are and pick up some new partnerships. We want to travel the world, engage with new communities through events, and expand with new young creatives on board as well. Hopefully, we can do a lot more collaborations. We are creating a jewelry collaboration with Vibe Harsloef which is going to come later this year so I’m very stoked about that.
Elsewhere in fashion, take an official look at the Supreme x The North Face Spring 2022 collection.