If bad times are a-coming, Helmut Lang is the man to outfit the brave. For fall he issued multifunctional layers for the urban warrior to strap on, carving everything to an athletic body line to help his army of followers stand tall in the face of geopolitical meltdown.
Soft armor for the corsetry militia. Leggings done in cross-laced layers. Form-hugging felted coats and knits, cut and sliced in flaps to secure with Velcro and magnets. Jersey holsters, girdle skirts, gartered stockings, harnesses and sexy zones of stretch. If it all sounds a tad busy and tarty, trust Lang to douse things with the impeccable colors of austere chic. Using black with navy or gray, a touch of dusty pink and then transparencies of ecru and white for night, he made clothes that stalk a fine line between his signature obsessions and a clean new silhouette.
Lang continued his splendid record of conviction for producing a covertly perverse luxury. The evidence included wedge-heeled boots, sometimes done in patent and trimmed with shearling; pliss¿ chiffon chopped into minidresses; and leather stamped into a suggestion of high-tech military camouflage. His much-loved deluxe parkas and menswear coatings went missing from this Winter collection, but perhaps they’re being kept in the back now that so many have copied them. He certainly hasn’t abandoned his minimalism-with-a-gorgeous-kick: when he sent out Natalia Vodianova wearing a men’s shirt, skinny sweater and plain short skirt with a fringe of goat fur swinging from the front, his fans all but fainted.