Helen Lawrence knows knitwear. Springing from Fashion East’s nest and winning over London’s independent scene with her experimental creations, the Newcastle born designer is collaborating with Browns on a new capsule collection for men.

Propelled into the spotlight with her MA collection at Central Saint Martins in 2012 – an unlikely combination of knitted yarns patched with PVC – Lawrence immediately raised eyebrows and gained buyers (her label has since been snapped up by Dover Street Market, Selfridges, Opening Ceremony, and L'Eclaireur in Paris). Always looking to expand her portfolio, the designer has had her finger in many pies – she has collaborated with Kult Domini, Lily Kamper and Slim Barrett – but it was her extensive work with Craig Green over four seasons that really established her natural flair for menswear.

Helen Lawrence Chunky Ribbed Jumper, £740

The designer’s 3D silhouettes may have wacky proportions but the figure hugging fits combined with the disintegrated, flesh-flashing nature of the knitwear always ensure the clothes compliment the female form. “It has always been about making something unsexy quite sexy just by having a little bit of skin,” she explains.

But it was Lawrence’s skill with the knitting needles that attracted Browns. Menswear Buying Manager Dean Cook, says, “Helen is an incredible talent – she’s quickly established a strong reputation in the industry for her womenswear designs, as well as for her menswear collaborations with Craig Green. Her work is instantly recognisable and so unique. She has strong ideas on ways in which to bring a fresh approach to men’s knitwear.”

Helen Lawrence Split Sleeve Jumper, £740 

So how did Lawrence translate her signature feminine look through to a full menswear collection? “We changed the technique to make it more masculine but we still wanted to keep that same look in mind.” The result is a collection made up of mainly jumpers, multi-coloured and in mixed-media, in hot pinks and reds muted with greys and browns. Chunky rib pulls in voluminous proportions at the waist, cuffs and neck. Her trademark sexy holes are more discreet this time, with slits above the heart, vertical slices at the ribs or slashes to the elbow.

Helen Lawrence Striped Half Zip Jumper, £740

Somehow they still look warm and cosy. And this is exactly what Lawrence was trying to achieve. “The pieces with the holes, the majority of them, are really oversized and we wanted them to be like proper big winter jumpers. They are so soft to touch and to wear. I’ve mixed lambswool with a really fine Italian mohair and then it’s been brushed up loads and rewashed to make it extra soft.” All this attention to detail is integral to the brand’s process, the fabrics created in house, by hand.

And Browns are excited to take this different approach on board.  “We are thrilled to bring this distinctive, contemporary aesthetic to our customer,” says Cook. January just got a whole lot brighter.

Helen Lawrence Contrast Stripe Jumper, £740

The Helen Lawrence x Browns collection is available to buy now here.

Text by Abigail Southan