Nicolas Andreas Taralis is one of those designersthere have been a few this seasonwho make you think, all over again, of the huge void left by Helmut Lang. The Taralis synthesis of sharp tailoring and urban streetwear is fully in the Lang tradition (he studied under him in Austria), and he's one of the very few who is carrying it through with a genuine sense of purpose, rather than quoting from the nineties because it seems trendy right now.
"Chic, but tough. Something between elegance and hard-core sporty. There's too much nostalgia in fashion now." With these words, he joined the season's rising debate around the need for contemporary modernism. Still, you can't emulate Lang without first knowing how to cut a sharp black jacket, neat chesterfield coat, and a great pair of pants. Taralis had all that in his sharky-cool lacquered-cotton mess jacket, narrow coat with leather inserts, and his hybrid motocross biker jeans. The new aspect for him was the introduction of sport elements: optic-white perforated cotton, leather, and performance mesh worked into tailored shirts; cross-strap tabard T-shirts, bombers, and parkas. He also shifted his liking for metallics into a lean techno-tissue pantsuit and a poncho in silver. With the addition of Velcro-tabbed leather sneakerswhich Taralis calls "futuristic Converse"this below-the-radar collection represents a blip of hope for the lost legions who are still wearing out the last dependable threads of their vintage Lang.