The casting for this year’s NYFW has been, by and large, a bore. Sure, Bella and Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner look fine in a tight and/or sheer gown, but if you’ve seen them all glammed up once, you’ve seen them glammed up a thousand times. I get why designers are still casting the Instagirls – slap a wig on one of them and you’re practically guaranteed to make headlines – but come on.
Enter the newly revitalized Helmut Lang. It should come as no surprise that the casting was on point – designer Shayne Oliver was known for his refreshingly inventive casting when he was at the helm of Hood By Air – but this was some next level goodness. Casting directors Samuel Ellis Scheinman (who handled agency casting) and Walter Pearce (who handled street casting) put together an eclectic mix of old school Helmut Lang muses, like Missy Rayder, Kristen Owen and Danielle Zinaich, New York underground heroes like the inimitable Sophia Lamar and fresh faces like Slick Woods and Prison Bae 2.0 Mekhi Alante Lucky.
Most importantly, the casting wasn’t “cool” or “different” for the sake of it. Instead, it paid homage to the brand’s history, while embracing a new generation of muses who, while not classically “masculine” or “feminine,” still exude a fearless sexuality. And the clothes were killer too.