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April 27, 2012

Lessons from Old Helmut

I find myself looking back at so much of Helmut Lang’s work when he still designed for the company, and I feel like I’ve struck gold.  As a high-school boy in the late nineties, I saw his bondage-strapped white shirts and pencil-pointy shoes and found them so plain yet almost so frightening; I thought to myself, “These must be clothes for very cool people.”  I have the tendency to appreciate designers’ work only after they leave their namesake labels, so call me backwards, but it is worth noting how much he was ahead of his time, and I thought I’d share all this inspiration with you.

Subtly tweaked classic shapes with provocative detailing (and not that much color) make for very strong sartorial statements.

There is a DIY charm to the chaps layered over the pants, cut-up t-shirts strewn around button-downs, and spray-stenciled words.

Art and Fashion are sisters. (Robert Mapplethorpe photographs in Helmut Lang ads)

A little peek-a-boo never hurt anybody. (Helmut Lang Spring/Summer 2004)

And neither did a flash of silver.

There is beauty in absurdity.

And power in a strong photograph.

Subtle, odd, and somewhat obscured accessorizing can sometimes be the most impactful.

scans and photographs via The Fashion Spot and Superfuture


  • Hannah
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:47 pm


  • stubble trimmer
    May 1st, 2012 at 4:09 am

    I agree. His style and ideas are so unique and frightening. Very genius.

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