Mixing romanticism, sex, and science, Helmut Lang's Spring 2002 collection balanced flesh-baring cutouts and bondage-style harnesses with Great Gatsby-style femininity.

Lang played hard and soft off against each other throughout the show. Strappy body suits were worn under flapper-like dresses or paired with pleated skirts; patent and metallic leather mingled with soft, sensual materials including silk chiffon and even perch skin. The angular geometry of pleats, v-necks and mirrored minaudières, meanwhile, was countered by rounder, arched necklines and open-toed shoes.

Lang added vibrancy to a severe palette of black, white and gray via dashes of deep red and purple, as well as prints designed in-house. One of these featured wings; another, though it resembled leopard spots, was in fact a rendering of biological cells.

Originally scheduled to be shown on the catwalk in Paris, Lang's collection is instead being presented via the Internet, CD-ROM, lookbooks and showtapes (echoing the designer's successful alternative show format of 1998). "I am sure that everybody will understand that I have to be in New York right now," Lang says. "Presenting the Helmut Lang collection here is our way of supporting business in New York."