Dressed-down luxury is Nicole and Michael Colovos' MO at Helmut Lang. This season they found inspiration for the dressed-down part of the equation in Cutting Table, a painting on aluminum by the contemporary artist Jaap de Vries. Taking its asymmetries as a starting point, the designers constructed their shearling jackets with uneven hems, added high slits to long knit dresses, and left seams raw—the better to give their downtown cool an extra dose of edge. As for the luxury, that came through in the focus on furs and the collection's new metal embroideries. The latter appeared on the shoulder of an easy, sleeveless draped wool dress and on the lapel of a cropped and fitted jacket.
Regarding the furs, it's tough to know where to begin. The Colovoses say outerwear is one of their top categories, and looking at a reversible fur/black leather jacket or a shrunken shearling vest shown over a shearling motorcycle jacket, it's easy to see why. The cut and fit belie the easy-on-the-wallet contemporary price point. This season's de rigueur leather puffer jacket comes in at about $1,500, a relative bargain when you consider that the Colovoses are the only ones to quilt their sleeves differently for a snugger, more flattering fit. Having launched a handbag collection last season, they added a few new styles. The most interesting was a geometric clutch made from leather and patinated steel. Tough-chic is an overused term, but it fits.
Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear
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