A few days ago I asked you on my Instagram stories to pick one of your favourite collections ever and I would make a collage with it. Here’s @readysetfashion’s choice: the forever inspiring autumn-winter 1998 collection by the one and only Helmut Lang. A bit about this ground-breaking, now-cult line-up in the words of mimalism master: “This was at the moment when I moved my company from Europe to the United States. As I was preparing for our next ‘séance de travail,’ which was highly anticipated, I felt that it was in many ways a new beginning for me, and also a new beginning for how to communicate my work. I sensed at the time that the Internet would grow into something much bigger than imaginable, so I thought it was the right moment to challenge the norm and present the collection online. It was a shock to the system, but a beginning of the new normal. In terms of the broader context of the industry, we made in the same season the entire collection available on a public platform, allowing consumers for the first time to get an unfiltered view of my work.” Look back at the entire collection here!
More of your choices are coming in the following days! If you missed the game, you can still write me your favourite collection and I will do the work. Got plenty of time. Culture isn’t cancelled, fashion isn’t cancelled!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
It would be just dumb to try to sum up Helmut Lang in a few words. His massive, creative legacy flows in nearly every second designer’s blood today, from the reoccurring notion of ‘urban minimalism’ to growing tendency of inviting various models and nodels to walk in fashion shows. Let just say one of the biggest Lang-isms revived in Shayne Oliver‘s debut collection at the brand (whose editor-in-residence is Isabella Burley) was sensuality, or rather its much, much filthier side. If you look back at Helmut’s collection from the 90s and early 2000s, you will note that the visionary designer enjoyed playing with transparency and made the hardest-in-use fabrics look refined on the body. For Oliver, sensuality is something much more, hmm, aggressive. It’s kinky. It’s BDSM-inspired, with lots of untamed nudity and boldness. There were lots of irregularly fitted bras, lots of leather and lots of New York-favoured trashiness to it. Actually, the collection had a lot to do with Shayne’s currently under hiatus Hood By Air brand that used to be tagged as the most ‘disruptive’ brand of the New York fashion week’s calendar. Sexuality is a big word this season, and while designers think of it in more subtle and natural ways, Oliver is undoubtedly going very ‘badass’ with it. It’s good that the designer isn’t digging to hard in Lang’s archives. But I’m not absolutely persuaded that the capital letter HELMUT written all over the t-shirts and coats is what the founder thought of. Helmut kept the mood bit more calmer, sans caps-lock. Nevertheless, that was definitely the most anticipated collection this time around in the Big Apple.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.