Helmut Lang: Minimalism at its Best
By: Boyd Davis
(Photo below: From Helmut Lang on the runway Spring 2005.
Austrian born (Mar 10, 1956) Helmut Lang established his own fashion studio in Vienna in 1977. It
was not until 1986 that he made his debut in Paris. Against the tide of the opulent 1980s, he
presented simple lines and his collection was judged "too harsh" and "too minimal."
And MINIMALISM was born!
The fashion world appointed him as the King of Miminalism. To Helmut Lang, he was just following his
view of the basic elements of design - form, fabric and colour. So, when the tide of fashion changed,
all of a sudden, Helmut Lang was IN and crowned as the harbinger of the new look. Bewildered and
amused, the designer continued to design clothes the same way he had - understated with urban
aesthetics using luxury fabrics.
"I have been developing...what I call a non-referential view of fashion. It is all about today.
It has to do with my personality, with my life and with the idea that quality doesn't go out
of style every six months." -- Helmut Lang The St. James Fashion Encyclopedia
Helmut Lang understands "today." He sees fashion as fleeting, as technological, as part of
the world that goes fast. Part of his genius is uncanny ability to be ahead of the pack. Though he
leans on using synthetic fabrics, he started to mix it with natural fabric before anyone did. He sees
patterns and designs by mixing opposing sides. Fashion critics call him futuristic. I would rather
call him, a man of today who understands the intricacies of a world changing as fast as technology does.
Visit his website - it's a white page.
It's almost anathema to the current trend of using Flash and
all the gizmos used on the web.
But it gives you what you need - Helmut Lang's latest ready-to-wear
collection, accessories and perfume.
It has a listing of all his stores.
And one very innovative thing -
he is giving away the photos of his runway shows! It is even zipped for easy download, and separate
listing for MAC and PC formats! Again, the designer is ahead of the pack - give away the photos, people
will download it anyway!
As for the white page - that was the web when it started. But there is a lesson
to be learned here - the usability of your website. It's usable! It gives people what they want and
they can find it fast.
Of course, the web design pundits will call it 10 steps back for the web. My
take - let it be! It's different and it definitely caught my eye. It's what you want anyway when
designing a website.
Click on image to read the review and view the collection.