LONG LIVE HELMUT LANG!
One designer i terribly miss this Spring/Summer 06 season is Helmut Lang. He is one designer who influenced me to make clothes. When I was starting out, i already knew that i have a different predilection when it comes to style and how fashion should be viewed. I was never into glamour and all those girly shitty stuff that my peers have been doing. I never liked cute or super feminine stuff. I like a little bit of aggression, grit and degradation in the clothing i make. When i saw Helmut's design in one magazine that i picked for 50 pesos (That store was closed eons ago. It was the only store that sells decent fashion magazines that time. They had Mega. There was still no Preview that time.Imagine?!) Lacroix's look was waning that time and new movements were on the rise. I never heard of them but it was Muiccia Prada, Ann Demeulemeester, Martin Margiela, Marc Jacobs and Helmut Lang who were deemed as the independents who will change the face of the 90's fashion. And change they did. Could you imagine the 90's without minimalism and deconstruction? It was the time of reverse status where it's better that only you and your friends know that it was some obscure Belgian designer you all are wearing. Dries van Noten comes to mind with his folkloric/ethnic confections mixed with really modern stuff. It was the time when you carry the clothes and not the clothes (and label) carrying you.
Helmut Lang's design, somber, dark, strict and modern, were supringsingly edgy yet wearable for me. I love how he would redesign classic stuff like the suit, peacoat, parka, jeans and military wear loaded with the minutest details without compromising its wearability. He introduced techno fabrics that time when everybody was into couture stuff. Years later when the market was deluged with techno stuff, he switched to fine, traditional fabrics like cashmere and wool. He even tipped the calendar for showing fashion by deciding to present his line ahead of Paris. That's the reason why fashion watchers now go first to New York before heading to Paris. He also jumped in the internet wave by showing his first New York collection in the web. I guess, it was his renegade spirit and uncompromising attitude that has drawn me. I'm a fan. I collect his stuff. I go on diets just to afford him. I hound my friends just to give me his stuff for gifts.
With the new season's direction for white, minimalism and subtle codes of embellishment, i tend to be nostalgic about the time when you open all the major magazines and see Helmut's white, minimal and subtly embellished clothes. He was the champion of it all and it wouldn't be wrong to presume he is the inspiration now.