June 28th, 2021
On My Mind

Photographer Elfie Semotan Inspired

When I saw the self-portrait above by Austrian photographer Elfie Semotan in the July/August issue of Vogue Germany, I was reminded of her enviable personal style. Tailored pieces, many from close friend Helmut Lang, are the foundation of her signature look. Elfie walked in a number of Helmut’s shows that I worked on and I was always a bit awed by her. At 80, Ms. Semotan’s enduring style continues to inspire.

I added the NYT’s blurb from 2006 for a bit of personal history. And, three looks from Helmut Lang shows below.

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GIULIVA HERITAGE

The Heidi cable-knit wool cardigan

VERSACE

Double-breasted virgin wool-twill coat

JUNYA WATANABE

Patchwork Fair Isle-intarsia wool sweater

GUCCI

Gucci Horsebit 1955 small bag

SAINT LAURENT

Belted wool-twill jacket

SAINT LAURENT

Hooded virgin-wool duffel coat

SAINT LAURENT

Belted distressed denim jacket

SAINT LAURENT

Hooded velvet cape

SAINT LAURENT

Hooded wool duffle coat

VINCE

Cashmere sweater

SACAI

Cotton-blend minidress

RAEY

Longline virgin-wool tunic

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  • I love that she is wearing a black coat over a navy sweater and slacks with a hint of white near the face. One of my favorite combinations of color.

    SharonJune 28th, 2021  8:47 AM

     
  • Nice to see someone on the runway representing what a real woman’s body might be like instead of a rail thin model. She looks fabulous.

    SLFJune 28th, 2021  9:16 AM

     
  • Did you ever meet her? I think there was a doc about her recently.

    DisneyrollergirlJune 28th, 2021  9:16 AM

     
  • Yes, she was in many of the shows I cast for Helmut and the documentary was released last summer.

    PrestonJune 28th, 2021  9:24 AM

     
  • I love this post. There is so much value, monetarily and aesthetically, to a timeless wardrobe. Helmut Lang was ahead of his time in many ways. Elfie Semotan looks amazing on the catwalk- she has stood the test of time as have Lang’s designs from the 80’s and 90’s. This is what we want to look like at 80! This post makes me want to go on the hunt for vintage Helmut Lang! This is a great example of why I have followed your blog, Preston, since you began! It is always on point. Thank you!

    Holly FreestoneJune 28th, 2021  10:06 AM

     
  • I agree wholeheartedly with Holly! Ms. Semotan is adorable! Adults are so chic! : ))
    Europeans especially honor and value their ‘older’ women and men ~ and I believe it makes for a healthier and richer society. American culture is so stuck on youth and ‘celebrity’ ~ even when they aren’t that bright or talented and have no actual accomplishments. We have a vacuum of culture right now.

    PaulaJune 28th, 2021  11:07 AM

     
  • I love love love this post.

    KimJune 28th, 2021  11:25 AM

     
  • Inspiring! So elegant.

    AprilJune 28th, 2021  2:27 PM

     
  • Love everything about this post.
    Thank you!

    SusanJune 28th, 2021  5:44 PM

     
  • This post is timeless – as is Elfie. I have always loved her look, and oh how I miss Helmut Lang, sadly, I only have one pair of trousers left…..

    BetsyJune 29th, 2021  7:01 AM

     
  • Her eye, her art, her style.

    LisaJune 29th, 2021  8:23 AM

     
  • Also a huge Helmut Lang fan, not surprised it’s a common theme for us here in KiC world. Her style is so truly her own and that’s the enviable and inspirational thing for me. Thanks for the snippet.

    SueMJune 29th, 2021  11:48 AM

     

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