Nicole and Michael Colovos tend to find inspiration for their Helmut Lang collections from little-known artists or obscure works, but their starting point for pre-fall just might be their strangest yet. "We have all these pictures of spiderwebs made by spiders on drugs," Michael explained. The LSD spider apparently spins really intricate webs, while the pot spider's creations have big holes in them. The caffeine spider's is the most erratic, and that's the one they settled on for their latest outing. It turned up as a tone-on-tone design on skinny jeans and as a burnout motif on a delicate, featherweight sweater. In something of a surprise for the duo who prefer black both professionally and personally, it also appeared as a bold green, black, and white pattern on a leather-trim chiffon dress worn with matching leggings. There was more color where that came from in the form of a draped jersey dress in a brilliant lime green.

But the designers haven't strayed so far from the contemporary brand's roots. The snug leather jackets and sharp-shouldered blazers beloved by their customers are back; they refreshed the former with curved "kissing" seams on the back and the latter with stamped metal hook closures made by a local jewelry designer friend. The other big news: The husband-and-wife team are launching a T-shirt line called Helmut that riffs on some of their favorite designs from the past; prices will start at about $95.