Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Helmut goes solo, Hanover goes fashion

In 2001, when Hedi Slimane took over the reins at Dior Homme, it was no secret that he was an avid fan of Raf Simons’ raw energy. Slimane, inspired by Raf’s skinny black suits, created a new Dior silhouette that was very much an ode to the Belgian designer.

But Simons, in turn, was influenced by Helmut Lang who, when he put his designing boots on the shelf in 2005, was forced to look on when owners Prada used his name to manufacture bad copies of Helmut’s phenomenal jeans, crisp shirts, graphic T-shirts and well-made suits.

What to do? Rumours circulated that Helmut would start his own label under a new name. Others said he was on a farm, chilling out in the countryside, away from the crazy fashion business. The truth, as it appears, is that Lang was busy working on an art project, due to go on display in Germany this August.

Titled Alles Gleich Schwer, Lang will exhibit as part of Hanover Goes Fashion. Helmut has created a series of installations and sculptures exploring “the tension between our private and public lives through objects and possibilities”. That’s of course PR language for Modern Art. Helmut himself explains further: “I’m expressing what's important to me with the appropriate form, content and context, through different media and other dimensions”.

No matter what and how they say it, it’s exciting to see a life sign from Helmut Lang again.

Hanover Goes Fashion, 31 August – 2 November 2008, www.kestner.org

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