It’s a design crime in the most literal sense: Someone has been methodically destroying the archives of fashion demigod Helmut Lang, who quit the biz in 2005, leaving his brand to lesser hands and the industry to mourn the loss of an incomparable minimalist master. That someone is Lang himself.
And we don’t know what’s worse: The fact that he’s annihilating more than 25 years worth of his beautiful, brainy collections or that he’s using said collections to make boring art.
That’s right. Lang’s second act is as an artist. For his latest endeavor, he shredded some 6,000 garments, then used the assorted scraps of fabric, fur, feathers, and so on, to build floor-to-ceiling structures that look like artsy stripper poles. Make It Hard is on display at the Fireplace Project in East Hampton through August 8.
Who knows why he’s doing it. Maybe as a final middle finger to the fashion world, with which he grew deeply dissatisfied after Prada bought a stake in his brand and forced him to cede some creative control. But geez. Does he really have to sacrifice all those gorgeous clothes? Can’t he just write a bitchy memoir?
[Images by HL-ART courtesy of Helmut Lang Studio]