Helmut Lang SS18 By Shayne Oliver
Let’s start off with a little bit of background: Helmut Lang is an Austrian designer, self taught, who is perhaps the most influential designer of this millennium; right there alongside the likes of Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane. Although Lang left his eponymous label back in 2005, the brand (currently helmed by Isabella Burley) is currently launching a Re-Edition collection which features pieces by Lang himself. The collection basically entails producing a yearlong artist series inspired by the collaborations Lang had with, say Jenny Holzer and Louise Bourgeois. Oh, and by the way, Burley hired HBA’s Shayne Oliver as the label’s designer in residence. This of course, brings us to last night’s presentation of the first collection by Oliver for the brand. Helmut Lang is best known for his minimalist approach to design and his ability to make the ordinary seem extraordinary. His design aesthetic was usually rooted in everyday basics, often unisex and with a bit of a BDSM twist to it. This is where it gets interesting of course, because Oliver himself has been known to use fetishes as forms of inspiration. Take for example his last presentation for HBA in New York, where he showed his collaborative collection with PornHub. Based on the above, the collection shown last night was rife with kinky pieces: asymmetric bras, butt-less garter pants, leather codpieces, and a range of BDSM gear. This, of course, alongside more “accessible” parkas and other, more tailored pieces. On the collection, Shayne Oliver noted: “What I liked the most was that Lang made staples, sort of just things you needed. And everything else was built on some sort of fetishistic idea”. He continued: “That’s the only thing I brought back. I just wanted to bring back the vibe of sensuality.” Check out the full show below.