July 03, 2004
Around the same time as Helmut Lang came across an old book of fisherman's knots, Bill Murray asked him to design a suit with a pair of sailor pants that the star could wear at the Oscars. Presto! The inspiration was set for Lang's spring 2005 collection, a nautical jaunt that took in denims or summery seersucker suits encircled by white rope belts, raffia vests that looked like netting, and T-shirts with a rope print curled across the corner. Fishermen's sweaters were slashed open or, in some cases, left as a single coil of knit down the chestone of the designer's signature "phantom" garments. As usual, Lang nimbly avoided letting his theme get away with him (with the possible exception of the goat-fur sailor clogs). A navy-and-white palette prevailed, save for one pair of utterly transparent jeans and another covered with a Swiss floral print. Wearability bonus points: The flat fronts of Lang's sailor pants (one pair done in cashmere, as per Murray's request) made for a flattering fit.