Fashion News Alert: Disney Teams with Olivia von Halle, Mark Thomas Howard Leaves Helmut Lang, La Perla Segues into Beauty, and Goodbye Sophie Kokosolaki

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” opens of Thursday, October 18. And if you want to dress up like the characters from the film, this time around you can.

Disney has formed a fashion collaboration with British luxury designer Olivia von Halle that pays homage to the film’s contrasting personalities, Aurora and Maleficent. The 15-piece collection will be available on October 18.

“Growing up with Disney, I found from an early age that the characters I was drawn to the most were the villains, the rebels, the rule-breakers,” said von Halle in a statement. “They were dangerous, interesting, had depth to their characters —and were so glamorous and well dressed! Women are complex and powerful, and I believe that we all have a Maleficent and an Aurora within us, and I wanted to create a collection that would enable women to explore and embrace these contrasting sides of their personalities.”

According to, ‘Lila’ pyjama and ‘Queenie’ robe, both covered in a lilac floral ‘Apple Blossom’ print inspired by the magical forest where Maleficent and Aurora met will be available in this capsule collection, as well as a floor-length silk organza dress called ‘Delphine Innocence’ and a whimsical dress called ‘Edie Aurora’  that channel the character’s costumes in the film. Issa and Aureta dresses have been modified using a shell-pink silk lurex ‘Grace’ fabric inspired by her ethereal aesthetic.

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Mark Thomas Howard moves on

Helmut Lang has lost another creative director. After only being at Helmut Lang for two years as creative director of menswear, Mark Thomas Howard is leaving to head Lacoste’s menswear and global collaborations division. Mark Thomas Howard will start his new position at Lacoste on October 21.

The embattled brand has gone through a slew of creative directors in the past decade, most notably Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air, who created a one-off collection. Isabella Hurley, editor the British Dazed & Confused, served as creative director for the 2017 relaunch of the brand. And the design duo of Michael and Nicole Colovos served as creative directors of the brand for eight years.

Mark Thomas Howard came to Helmut Lang in 2018 from Joseph and was heralded for re-establishing the brand’s design DNA of Viennese 19th century gentleman’s redingote and the brand’s signature lettering. Howard’s first collection for the brand was the fall 2018 collection that debuted during New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

Helmut Lang launched his eponymous brand in 1977 in Vienna, moving the brand to New York City by the late 90s. Lang sold control of his company to the Prada Group in 1999 and quit his own brand in 2004.

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La Perla expands

Beauty is now on the menu for La Perla. Known for their lingerie, swimwear, and nightwear, the iconic brand recently announced that it is launching a new subsidiary, La Perla Beauty. La Perla Beauty will include cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances.

“La Perla Beauty is a natural extension for the iconic La Perla brand and creates an exciting opportunity to share the modernized brand and its values with a broader consumer audience,” a statement from the company read, as reported in

La Perla was founded in 1954 by Ada Masotti. This is the 65th anniversary of La Perla with the brand launching a commemorative collection.

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Antio Sophia

Greece’s most successful designer Sophia Kokosolaki has died. Kokosolaki often created clothing and jewelry that was inspired by ancient Greece.

“It is extremely sad when a young person dies, a creative spirit, a dynamic and self-made woman who starred in the harsh and competitive world of international fashion for a 20-year period,” Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said, as reported in a article. “What a great loss to the fashion world … RIP beloved … your talent was beyond the norm,” fellow designer Vassilis Zoulias wrote on Instagram.

Kokosolaki is of Cretian descent, studied Greek and English literature at the University of Athens. She later studied fashion design at the acclaimed Central Saint Martin fashion college in London.

Kokosolaki was the head designer for the 2004 Athens Olympics and dressed the likes of Kate Hudson, Cristina Ricci, Tilda Swinton, Jennifer Connelly, Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Julie Christie, and Diane Kruger. Kokosolaki passed away on Monday, October 14.

—William S. Gooch

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