The re-launch of Helmut Lang, now owned by Link Theory Holdings, is as a contemporary—that is, more affordable—line, as opposed to a luxury one. Michael and Nicole Colovos, the founders of Habitual jeans, were tapped to get the job done some three years ago. For their first bona fide runway show, this week, Nicole said that she and her partner had decided to concentrate on "modern fabrics and architectural lines." In other words, they decided to stay true to the soul of the brand.

The collection stuck to the script: Out came the requisite straps and harnesses; also, better-than-basic tanks for layering, sharp narrow pants, slick blazer jackets, and monochrome color schemes. Some of the fabrics looked high-tech but actually were made mostly of natural fibers, woven and coated in innovative ways (though some less-structured looks were made up in a taffeta that crinkled like a black plastic deli bag). A sleeveless hoodie in glazed leather nodded to Spring's active trend.

The attitude was hard-edged, but not menacing. In fact, an asymmetrical pool blue dress with attached swag had romance to it. The minimalist palette of white, slate, black, and blue, was based, in part, on the Colovoses' study, Michael said, of ice and its different "colors, layers, structures, and forms." Cool enough…and the Colovoses are obviously warming to their assignment.