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Helmut lang

Mike C.

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I've noticed alot of you mention wearing Helmut Lang. HL is one of the few brands that I'm really not familiar with. From what I've deduced, it is similar in styling along the lines of Jil Sander and Calvin Klein. Can anyone elaborate on this? Please include price range.
 

VWpete

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Helmut Lang is known for his work in very neutral colors (black/white/grey). His cut is slim and his price is expensive at full retail. I think I bought some silk charcoal denim jeans for about 100$ (they were 50% off). I don't know a ton about the company, but I've shopped at the flagship store in Soho, across from Vivienne Westwood. It's a beautiful space. Barney's usually a small selection of HL on sale about this time. The collections include some really great skinny ties as well. (I've got one on my wishlist for fun evenings). I'm not much on terms, but PStoller may know exactly what kind of designer he is (modernist, minimalist). Either way, I like some of his stuff and wish I could afford more of it.
 

LA Guy

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pstoller

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Helmut Lang is an Austrian minimalist who came into prominence in the nineties. I think he worked for some other big label before that, but the details escape me right now. I believe that Marc Jacobs was his protege at one time. Please, anyone, correct me if I've remembered incorrectly.
As far as I can tell, both Lang and Jacobs started their own collections without having worked for any other major designer beforehand, but their histories could simply be well-hidden (or poorly documented).

I can't find any record of Jacobs having worked for Lang. He's a Parson's grad who was a stockboy at Charivari before launching his eponymous clothing line. He later worked for Perry Ellis, but was sacked for his controversial "grunge" collection. Perry Ellis' loss was Louis Vuitton's gain.
 

Joe G

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Dunno about Marc Jacob's relationship to Helmut Lang, but Lang never worked for anyone else. After his finished his Handelsakademie (a peculiarly Austrian form of schooling that's kind of like a high school business degree) he worked as a waiter. (Although the thought of calling out "Herr Ober." and having Helmut Lang come up does strike me as amusing.)

Peace,

JG
 

thc

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I've noticed alot of you mention wearing Helmut Lang. HL is one of the few brands that I'm really not familiar with. From what I've deduced, it is similar in styling along the lines of Jil Sander and Calvin Klein. Can anyone elaborate on this? Please include price range.
As far as I know, Helmut Lang has never worked for anyone else.  He started designing in the 70s and began to show in Paris in the '80s.  He really rose into popularity in the '90s with his stretch t-shirts and his pant silouhette which is very narrow and straight leg. His label is now owned by the Prada Group.

I would say Helmut Lang is both minimalist and futurist.  He's similar to Jil Sander.  But I think Jil Sander (pre-Prada) is more of a classic, "just got of bed and can't think of what to wear" look, if that makes any sense.  However both are concerned with using luxury fabrics (and in the case of Helmut Lang, really innovative uses of different natural and synthetic fabrics), sober color palettes with an occasional splash of bright color, and clean lines.  

I would say the difference is that Helmut Lang is turns out more "urban" and "edgy" clothing.  His vision is really seductive and that's where I think the comparison to Calvin Klein is appropriate.  He often has quirks like hanging sleeves resembling bondage or an irregular seam or straps.  

I have a lot of Helmut Lang clothing and his clothes fit New York perfectly.  I ignore a lot of the really unwearable clothing with "quirks" like the above mentioned, and buy the more classic-looking stuff, but still with an edge. I still want to buy a 3-button black HL suit one of these days, but my size is always sold out when it comes to sale time.  He also makes the best jeans, in my opinion, which are very popular too.

One thing that has bothered me about HL recently is how he has become more commercial and started producing t-shirts or polo shirts with the Helmut Lang logo.  I guess this was inevitable.

HL is expensive.  At retail, pants are anywear from $200-300, and button-down shirts are anywhere from $150-300.

In addition to the HL boutique, Saks and Barneys, check out Camouflage too on 8th Avenue for a good selection of HL.

Hope this helps.
 

thc

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Hadn't seen yet the the Fall 2003 Helmut Lang collection. I saw what was left on the sale racks today at the Helmut Lang boutique in Soho. Unless the good stuff was already sold, I have to say that I think this collection was terrible. Lots of straps and shirts torn in strange places. I didn't buy a single thing.
 

hermes

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for the fit to my body, at least, i think helmut lang makes the best jeans on the market
 

thc

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I agree with that. Helmut Lang jeans fit me best as well. I was talking though about the ready to wear collection.
 

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