February 09, 2000
Urban and modern are synonymous with Helmut Lang, and with good reason. This season, while most designers scamper to redefine yet another bygone era or perfectly distill the trend of the moment, Lang took time out to create sharp, clean and timeless clothes. That is not to say that there were no references involved; Balenciaga certainly was an influence for the fitted tops and jackets, bell-shaped skirts and exquisitely voluminous dresses that dominated his runway. But Lang has too fine a sense of his own aesthetic for his designs ever to appear derivative. The ease of the silhouette, and the signature color paletteshades of basic tones with occasional shocks of colorwere all his own. As if to stress the validity and timelessness of his practical philosophy, Lang made sure to open the show with his most recognizable classicssuper-sharp pants and suits, street-smart coats and transparent tops. The results, especially in contrast with the gratuitous ornamentation often seen elsewhere, were more gratifying than ever.