Helmut Lang Injects The Usual Black And White With Sunshine At New York Fashion Week

Helmut Lang Spring 2012 New York Fashion Week.
Photo: Getty Images

OK, so the whole New Yorkers Always Wear Black stereotype is relatively true, but when you think about it, wearing just black or white (or both!) can be liberating and EASY. Why? LAYERS, people. You start with the basics and build adding colors and accessories along the way. There’s a RED FLAG caveat, though (it’s not really red, I just wanted to type a color because it’s about to get STARK up in here), and that caveat is that your monochromatic pieces must be both cut and tailored well. Yes, you can count a basic white t-shirt and black skinnies as good basics to begin with, but if they’re shapeless or don’t fit you, then it’s nothing but a mono-mess. Enter Helmut Lang, or should I say Michael and Nicole Colovos, the designers for the famously minimal label. This season they did something SO DRASTIC, so BOLD and out of the goth box that it can only be described with words in keeping with their usual somber trajectory, and those words are LEMON CARNAGE. Dear Fashion Gods, protect me as I clack this, but for Spring 2012 (do you hear birds chirping?) Helmut Lang designed several dresses in sunny—oh my here it comes—yellow.

Have the smelling salts kicked in? Good, because we’re about to get INTO THIS, people. First of all, the Helmut Lang spring 2012 show was both dramatic and gigantic in space and number of looks. Held in the unadorned Pier 57 warehouse near the Hudson River (practically the edge of nowhere), the space resembled an enormous meat locker in the middle of a construction site, which isn’t such a bad thing. The four-sided runway seemed to float invisibly in the darkness but for a long white runway down the middle. When the models emerged in white after black after white flowy silk look around the runway (like a fashion version of Pac-Man), we thought to ourselves, “Oh, it’s another beautifully constructed asymmetrical black dress that would go with so many things in my closet, and there it is in white, too—how pretty— I hope they make it in gray or army green … HOLD UP! Do our eyes deceive us or is that a half-eaten piece of lemon meringue pie sailing towards us down the runway?!”

Helmut Lang Spring 2012 New York Fashion Week.
Photo: Getty Images

It was a REVELATION, y’all. We don’t want to decree it or anything lest the haus of Helmut lightning bolt us for misrepresentation, but it was almost as if these seekers of stark were softening. You wouldn’t know it from the show’s soundtrack, though, which was the song “Bhima’s Theme” by a band called Ohm, the side project of an ex-member of thrash metal forefathers, Megadeth. It all worked, though, and though the yellow dresses were beautiful, we also loved that they were slightly see-through and paired with sporty undergarments for a sophisticated athlete look. Also, the towering Alejandro Ingelmo wedges were TO DIE. We weren’t the only ones riveted either. The front row was aghast with wonder, too. We spied actress Rose McGowan in orange pants, DJ Leigh Lezark in—drum roll—black, and Best Coast’s Bethany Consentino fresh from her Fashion’s Night Out party with the label.

Rose McGowan, Best Coast’s Bethany Consentino, and Misshapes DJ Leigh Lezark at Helmut Lang Spring 2012 New York Fashion Week.
Photo: Getty Images

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