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Helmut Lang Opening

I just got back from hanging out with Emerson, Tony and Doug—the helpful hipster crew at the new downtown Helmut Lang store—who gave me the grand tour of the sleek, industrial space. It opened four days ago at 120 Maiden Lane and is only the second boutique of the Austrian-born designer’s to open in the U.S. (the other is on Melrose Avenue in LA). The store’s undone aesthetic is in line with Lang’s trademark minimalist designs. From the outside, you might not even realize it’s open. There’s no sign and the raw, three-story building looks very New York industrial with lots of glass, exposed air conditioning tubes, unpainted dry walls and concrete floors. A good selection of the men’s and women’s fall collections has arrived (the rest is coming in a few weeks), and already I’m eyeing a few beautiful pieces that are perfect for our unpredictable SF weather. Check out this avant-garde, unisex cardigan-wrap merino sweater that Tony, a sales associate, demonstrated can be worn 15 different ways, layered over a viscose-flannel shift dress that has an unusual asymmetrical hemline.