Helga Ruthner and Hermann Fankhauser waited until guests were comfortably settled into their seats, wondering when the models would arrive. That’s when everyone was summoned into a back hallway to see the clothing. Models mingled, cordoned off from the crowd, while an authoritative voice commanded people to move along: “Please, move faster!” It was a play on the red carpet and those instants of fame that flare up suddenly, then disappear.

The collection had spunk, infused with neon work gear and reflective strips, paired with brown loafers dipped in bright yellow, or white. There was also a wild surfer-flower pattern — vintage Eighties, used to make a smock dress, with a prim white collar.

The pair was happy to be back in Paris, where the buyers convene and infrastructure is geared for the shows. The audience is receptive, too, they added.

They were thirsty for color this season, not just for personal reasons but also in reaction to the times. Fashion is a filter, noted Ruthner, recalling Helmut Lang’s insistence on this point.

Ponchos were prevalent, modern and technical, in dual color combinations like gray and green or printed with an Eiffel tower camouflaged with branches. A female model had a breast exposed, a male model wore his hair wrapped up in a towel. Gender fluidity is a signature of the label.

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