Helmut Lang

  • Nicole Phelps
  • December 17, 2013

Nicole and Michael Colovos designed Pre-Fall in the midst of a New York heat wave. It gave them fresh appreciation for lightness and layering, two apparently contradictory ideas that formed the crux of the new collection. Layering was so central to their story this season that they created short dresses with multiple hems to produce a trompe l”oeil effect. Other times, the designers piled as many as four different items into one look; in that case, what was imperative was keeping their fabrics as weightless as possible. No wrong moves there. Leather blazers, for instance, came with wool sleeves, or else a biker silhouette was whipped up in simple cotton. The cotton jacket was a thoughtful experiment, but it had nothing on the actual oversize Perfecto they cut in supple black leather—when something works, it works. As a motif, lightness continued into the shoes, a relatively new category for the Colovoses. Their oxfords are not only constructed from perforated leather, they”re backless, too.

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