Helmer - spring/summer 2010

Joseph Helmer can weave a good story, even one told countless times –emergence from the darkness of winter to the fresh beginnings of spring.

With drama and whimsy, the collection begins with impenetrable ruffles and sleek black gowns, the models barely peeking through elaborate headdresses. Then, layers peel off to reveal black lace on nude skin, translucent knits and tulle, giving slight suggestions of vulnerability. Loops, sequins, appliqués and frenzied embroidery on bodices are humor in relief, perhaps echoing the very real relief at the end of a deep winter. In a black-on-cream bodice, idiosyncratic 3-d graffiti reveals faces equally funny and spooky.

Punchy graphic patchwork pieces give us a dose of European folk, without straying too far from the story line. They vie for the “wow” factor with a passionate flamenco-inspired celebration of life in red lace, gauze, and pleated flowers cascading down the side of a revealing skirt.
Helmer finally heralds spring with a fresh ivory silk shift and a wing-like gauze shroud. Powerfully contrasting with the rest of the collection, it leaves us on a high with its simplicity and purity.

Seow Chin Pua, Fashion Writer
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer