• Text Jake Hall
  • Photography Emily Malan
  • 8th September 2019

To the beat

Helmut Lang’s creative director Mark Thomas offered no show notes this season. Instead, on each seat laid a wrapped-up white t-shirt from the brand’s capsule collaboration with furniture designer Marc Hundley, the latest in a long line of creatives to be welcomed into the Lang universe. Alix Browne, Shayne Oliver and Isabella Burley have all recently landed residency roles at Lang, but the results have rarely deviated from the brand’s cult, minimal-with-an-edge aesthetic.

This season’s show was no different. Loosely separated into sections and propelled by a soundtrack that flitted between industrial house and downtempo interludes, the collection was signature Lang: slick, sporty silhouettes; latex, denim and leather accents; iridescent, monochrome tube dresses teamed with strappy sandals and barely-there makeup, save for the occasional pop of neon eyeliner.

The menswear looks were comparatively tame but filled with unconventional staples, like sheer, paper-thin knits and battered leather jackets. Standout looks came when pops of colour were added into the mix: cobalt blue, fuchsia pink and highlighter yellow are splashed across loose, tailored suits and simple, striking gowns, which eventually give way to the black leather looks that marked the show’s end.

Pounding techno and the occasional glimpse of tinfoil silver – the kind of hue usually reserved for reflective survival blankets – hinted at a post-apocalyptic narrative (they immediately followed a series of khaki, military-inspired looks), which is fitting: through sci-fi twists and high-profile collaborations the brand has found an energised pace and rhythm.