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Runway Archive: Helmut Lang, A/W 1989-90

Helmut Lang, Autumn-Winter 1989-1990. Photo © Paul van Riel / HH.

Helmut Lang, Autumn-Winter 1989-1990. Photo © Paul van Riel / HH.

The picture captures the final moment of the a/w 1989-90 fashion show by Helmut Lang. On the foreground, a model sports one of the designer’s most evocative creations, a bodysuit shaped as the silhouettes of two black cats, whose whiskers ties to make it tighter.

The Viennese designer Helmut Lang is acclaimed as one of the ultimate fashion innovator and, although he left fashion in 2005 to pursue a career in visual arts, his original designs are sought after by archivists and stylists. He is still a reference for contemporary fashion designers, as his work still resonates in fashion today, even in the ways fashion is presented. In 1989, he rejected the traditional structure of the fashion show and introduced his ‘Séance de Travail’, working sessions in which he presented his latest designs, both for womenswear and menswear. When he moved his studio across the ocean to New York in 1998, he also presented his a/w 1998-99 collection on the Internet, and the following season he moved his s/s 1999 show ahead of the European schedule, eventually shifting the fashion calendar.

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