Nicole and Michael Colovos were inspired by "erosion" for their latest effort—as in the erosion materials undergo over time, not that steady leak your 401(k) has developed the last several months. Suede leggings were treated to resemble rubbed-off metal, and the fabric appeared to melt away on a standout asymmetric-hemmed evening gown that underwent a burnout process. The Helmut Lang
designers also experimented with mixing materials, cutting shirts and jackets in jersey with leather panels. Decay
was the buzzword, but the experimentation never got out of hand, and we predict healthy sales for these razor-sharp separates with recession-friendly price points.