Helmut Lang clothes: hard, minimal, dressed-down, and cutting-edge. Helmut Lang clutches: ditto! Designers Nicole and Michael Colovos delivered just about everything, from shearling leather jackets to languid maxi skirts, in asymmetrical form for their Fall 2011 collection, and the evening bags followed suit. Along with the Nysa, a square and snaky chain-strapped version, the Eris clutch is the most successful bag to date that really embodies the brand’s aesthetic.
In sediment gray or black (equally chic and rugged), the bottom of this hard tube is actually a metal plate. A distressed leather flap, with magnetic fold-over closure, softens it up a bit. Cut on a mildly uneven angle, it reveals the intriguing metal without looking extreme or awkward. Clutches like this don’t come around often – this isn’t for your usual dressy evening attire, but nights you’ll be pounding the pavement and making some moves. At Barneys New York for $425.
Pair with: You want to dress up – but then again, you don’t! Naturally, T by Alexander Wang has the answer. Velvet is a ruling fabric this season, and this spaghetti-strapped maxi dress is one part elegance, two parts grunge goddess. On Ssense for $335.