Helmer - spring/summer 2009

Helmer interprets the spirit of New Orleans to bring Mardi Gras zest to spring/summer 2009.

The richness of the city’s culture permeates every aspect of the collection, as designer Joseph Helmer unleashes his creativity in the form of carnival colours and sweet southern jazz. For women, a gathered crimson bell dress oozes this exuberance, as does the puff cocoon in red, black, and white, a candied fantasy festooned with ribbons. Dresses in mystical white are wispy concoctions of shredded chiffon strips and linen ruffles, whispering traces of white voodoo.

An A-line trench coat with empire waist masquerades as a dinner jacket, and uses unusual pleating to evoke bayou flair. A black gingerbread lace camisole is one of many separates designed for sultry summer nights.

Aside from the hallucinatory multi-coloured patchwork jacket, options for men seem slightly more conventional, with simple shirts in solids and prints, and a flared grey suit with a 70’s cut. There are variations on this understated incarnation of the jazz crooner, with cuts sometime sharper than others. Is that a zoot suit? It should hardly surprise.

If all this isn’t enough to bring you under the Helmer spell, then perhaps a trip to The Big Easy will change your mind.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer