It’s not common for a designer to be equally as celebrated for their menwear line as their womenswear, but Angelos Frentzos is one of the exceptions, the name on everyone’s lips at this year’s Milan Fashion Week spring summer event.
Eternal Flame (womenswear) and Reversible Destiny (menswear) can be perfectly summed up as neo-gothic-romantic − essentially contradictions, which are carried through from the colour palette (black, white, orange, camel, blue, pink and yellow) and fabrics (cotton, silk, fleece, denim, nylon, wool), right through to the forms: tailored versus loose, oversized versus slim fit, and deconstructed versus shaped.
But it’s not really all that surprising once you piece together the designer’s background.
Born in Athens, Frentzos started out at the Athens School of Fine Arts and Printing Design in 1992, after which he went on to work as a prints designer for textile companies specialising in furnishing and clothing.
However, it was a collaboration with fellow Greek fashion designer Sophia Kokosalaki that really kick-started his career in the fashion industry. Together the pair created a collection inspired by the attitudes and moods of the new age music era of the time, which resulted in a range of conceptual and experimental garments.
Running with the momentum of their success, after graduating from London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins in 1999, it was just two years later that he decided to launch his eponymous label, going big from the get-go and presenting his first women’s collection at Milan Fashion Week, followed just one year later by his debut menswear line, which saw such success that it went on to rival that of his womenswear. Frentzos went on to win the first prize in textiles at the Lycra Dupont Competition in 2003, and since has become popular among many celebrities including the likes of Kanye West.
Meanwhile, the designer was also working as creative director of the famed Italian fashion house Alma, and during his time designed four collections until 2004, when he decided to restructure his company.
This saw him sign a full licence distribution deal with an Italian company for both of his collections, paving the way for Frentzos to launch Project Frentzos in S/S 2006, leading him to collaborate with various contemporary artists to create an art-to-wear line.
So to what can the success attributed? It would seem that Frentzos really is the sum of all his parts, embracing every part of his history and experience.
In his couture work he draws from the Greek tradition of design and craftsmanship which he manages to combine with his flare for contemporary design, while also drawing from his background in print design to create bold prints. Always ahead of his time, he continues to be inspired by everything from art and music, to societal attitudes and trends, the later evident in his S/S ’17 collection, which has references to the popular Netflix drama Stranger Things.
In his recent collections Frentzos continues to build on the vocabulary he started with: strong graphics, rich and fragile silk embroideries, words, phrases and lyrics.
The line features frills and cinched-in waists for the ladies, harping back to the British Victorian era with a contemporary twist, while the boys enjoy florals and wide silhouettes. The designer also takes the opportunity to breathe new life into time-honoured pieces such as the trench coat, manipulating fabrics to take them to the next level − it is a Frentzos piece after all.
What next for Angelos Frenzos? He’s all about the new wave, so stay tuned and expect the unexpected.
For more information and to view past and present Angelos Frentzos collections in full, visit angelosfrentzos.eu/