Helmut Lang

Helmut Lang concentrates on the exhibition of the interior structure of a garment and methods of reversal and subtraction. His label was founded in 1986 through to his resignation in 2005. Lang concentrated on exposing shoulder padding of sleeveless shift dresses and shirts as an external feature in the Fall/Winter 1999/2000 collection.For the Spring/Summer 2003 collection, Lang’s designs for men’s and women’s sweaters and shirts were primitively stripped to theiradjacent foundation seams.Lang stripped a cardigan sweater to it’s frame, leaving only straps of knitted cotton at the neckline, shoulder, elbow, wrist, waistline, and along the placket of the centre front opening. This skeletal cardigan is the designers reductive reading of the traditional shape.(Haskins, 2010: p.106)

Lang frequently displayed garments as an aesthetic object as opposed to a garment which sheds function or purpose- this can be seen in a T-shirt he dissected for the Spring/Summer 2003 collection where he left only the neckline and raglan sleeve seam. Thus the garment transcends from its function to conceal or protect the wearer, but more so performs as a metaphorical gesture of the ‘T-shirt’.  This type of method of reversal and subtraction is often seen in deconstructive fashion- if one was to categorize specific genres in fashion, so to speak. The resulting “decon-structures” convey an intentional focus on their own constitutive elements and the evidence of their creation or process as a means to reveal themselves as bare minimal objects.(Haskins, 2010: p.107)

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