text by: Riccardo Slavik
In the liquid world, submerged in nostalgia, we see brands of all types trying to bubble back up to the surface, as hip labels like Vetements team up with late 90’s and early 00’s icons like Juicy Couture to capitalize on millennials’ desire to go back to their infancy during these troubling times, and hot-name designers team up with heritage sportswear brands that have long lost their cool but are apparently getting their groove back, a designer’s looming influence has been spreading steadfastly. Helmut Lang’s iconic influence has been at the forefront of fashion for quite a few seasons now, with homages, rip-offs, a quasi-monographic issue by cult mag 032c and prices of the designer’s pieces on the vintage market rising by the week. A quick look at Tumblr will show you that the Lang revival it’s not confined to nostalgic 50-somethings looking back at a time when fashion had a capital F, the punk minimalism and precise imagination of the Austrian designer is gaining younger followers and the quest for coveted archive pieces is getting frantic.
It’s not surprising then, that the label, relaunched in 2006, ( in 2005 the designer left the label and it was sold by Prada), is finally trying to capitalize on its cult status after years of not quite stellar outputs. The second Lang reboot is apparently not the usual grab-a-name-designer-stick-it-in-a-label-and-pray gimmick, instead, it will play on the current obsession with collaborations and interdisciplinary cross-pollinations. Taking inspiration from Lang’s long list of artistic partnerships and finally capitalizing on its rich archival heritage, this new incarnation of the Helmut Lang label, helmed by Dazed and Confused’s editor-in-chief Isabella Burley, operating under the title “editor-in-residence” ( which in itself is a genius idea), will present a series of guest-designer collections, starting on September 11 with Shayne Oliver of Hood By Air, and will also present regular capsule collections of key items from its past. ‘The intention is to celebrate those great archival pieces, reignite the conversation, and introduce Helmut Lang to a new generation of kids so that they can respond to the legacy in their own way. The in-house design team and the creative team that I lead were in constant dialogue about the items to be re-released. We really wanted it to be gender-fluid, unisex pieces’ Burley recently told Vogue.co.uk