In today’s episode of fashion comebacks we love to see, Helmut Lang, who “quit” fashion to focus on his art projects 15 years ago is returning to the spotlight.
In collaboration with Anthony Vaccarello, creative director of Saint Laurent, he has created a series of sculptures, based on archival pieces from YSL heritage. This project - for Saint Laurent’s Rive Droite store in Paris (former residence of cult concept store, Colette concept) - is part of Vaccarello’s ongoing initiative, collaborating with different forces of fashion to create unique art pieces.
“I have been fascinated by Helmut for years,” explained Anthony Vaccarello in an exclusive interview with Business of Fashion. “For my generation, he is the ultimate designer of the 90s. I consider him at the same level as someone like Coco Chanel for the way he brought realness into fashion, something that everyone is still copying. Helmut was the first to stand up against artificial promotional messages, his vision and his art direction brought everyone back to the real and meaningful essence of fashion.”
Indeed, before bidding adieu to fashion in 2005 to focus on his art career, Helmut Lang was the first designer to join forces with artists Louise Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer for a fashion collaboration.
Initially, Vaccarello wanted to collaborate with the designer, who defined the fashion of the 90s, on a denim project. Lang declined his proposal, but “always had the utmost respect for the work of Yves, and Anthony has created an unparalleled vision for YSL, furthering the house’s legacy in a truly contemporary way,” Helmut Lang told BoF. “But, more significantly, Anthony was the first person in fashion to engage in a collaboration focusing on my artwork.”
The artwork is created from deadstock fabric, unused prototypes and accessories from Vaccarello’s collections (Helmut Lang shredded them), mixed with pigmented resin and aluminium. You can see the sculptures in Paris until October 30 at Saint Laurent Rive Droite concept store. Afterwards they will move to Los Angeles.