APPRECIATION FOR HELMUT LANG'S MASTERPIECES
What Lang made was fresh, classic and had a hint of romance, but most of all, it was extremely innovative when it came to using different fabrics and materials. He referenced anything that made him curious or what he was interested in. He defined the term ‘minimalism’, but was he really a minimalist? This question can be answered by your perspective on the collections, this is different for everyone.
Lang got inspiration from everything and anything, military, police, astronauts, underground clubs, bondage… you name it.
1. Ballistic Vest Spring / Summer 1998
Inspired by the police, the iconic ballistic vest was shown for the first time in the spring/summer 1998 collection. Being used as a technical garment with a utilitarian touch, Lang transformed this garment into a fashion statement. Matching this insane garment with sharp tailored trousers and formal shoes.
Instead of it being bulletproof, it was filled with goose down. It was made in various colors, changing per ‘seance’.
2. OG Painter Denim Spring / Summer 1998
To make ordinary everyday clothes look like luxury, Lang was the first to use paint splatters to change the view on such easy everyday garments. It was even known that Helmut Lang denim made more than 50% of the sales for Helmut Lang. When Prada Group decided to scrap Helmut Lang denim and change this to ‘Accessories Vêtements’, it marked the end of Helmut Lang as a designer.
3. Astro Collection Fall / winter 1998
Along side with the whole re-occurring theme throughout the AW1998, Lang referenced NASA and astronauts at it’s best. Making use of straps inside the jacket, to make the jacket useable as a backpack. A hint of Utilitarian and bondage, Lang mixed all kind of references to shake the fashion world awake.
Travis Scott is well known for wearing Helmut Lang archive pieces. In the music video of ‘Beibs in the trap’, Travis Scott wore the original ‘Astronaut jacket’, the white iteration.
4. M69 Flak Jacket fall / Winter 1999
This is a incredibly detailed jacket, it has references from bondage, utilitarian, but most of all, it’s build around a uniform jacket, the M69 Flak vest from the US army, which were issued for the Vietnam war.
The original Flak Jackets were designed to provide protection to the wearer against ‘case fragments’- High explosive weaponry such as grenades and heavy anti-aircraft artillery. However, they were not designed to be protected against bullets fired from small arms.
The jacket it self is beautiful, yet also extremely practical and durable. Created with a removable liner on the inside, filled with goose down. According to Endyma, this is one of the best-detailed Helmut Lang they’ve handled.
5. AW04 Bondage Cargo pants
Helmut Lang is now more relevant than ever. Pieces of Helmut Lang are being copied as a whole. The copy pants are basically exactly the same as the original, with minor alterations. In this case I am talking about the: ‘Helmut Lang AW04 Bondage Cargo’s’. They became highly sought after due to fashion bloggers in the niche of high end archive pieces.
These original Helmut Lang cargo’s are extremely valuable nowadays. High demand, low to zero market saturation.
By Kevin Vergeer