“If you don’t know what color to take, take black.”
-Pablo Picasso

Some artists might raise an eyebrow at Picasso’s words of advice. Is black even a color at all? Thankfully, we’re not here to debate it. Instead, we’re introducing Helmut Lang’s new fall collection, inspired by the Spanish artist’s body of monochromatic work.


“We were inspired by the exhibition ‘Picasso Black and White’ as well as Richard Prince’s book Prince/Picasso for this collection,”  Helmut Lang’s Nicole and Michael Colovos told The Window. The exhibition, which spanned Picasso’s entire career, was held last fall at the Guggenheim before it moved on to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts this spring. The Richard Prince tome referenced is a compendium of drawings and collages that Prince produced during a two-year study of Picasso’s figurative work.

With their Fall 2013 collection, the Colovoses have paid homage to Picasso in a few ways—some quite direct (see: Cubist print dress), and others, less so. The couple pointed out that the occasional “bursts of blue and flesh tones create a bold contrast against leathers and soft laminated silks.” If there’s something Picasso did masterfully with his monochromatic palette, it was create contrast. He used shape and line to explore form and perspective, sending the viewer’s eye wherever he liked it to go—not unlike what the Nicole and Michael have done with graphic patterns and contrasting textures.

Barneys New York Fashion Director Tomoko Ogura appreciates the “sharp softness” of this season’s collection: “Whether through the warm color palette of greys and whites or through the silhouettes themselves, there is relaxed feeling that remains polished.”

Enjoy our Helmut Lang lookbook below and shop the full collection at Barneys.com.