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NEW YORK — Blinding, shining color has invaded the often black-and-white world of Helmut Lang’s ad campaign.

Reflecting (literally) this season’s metallic leather skirts, the designer’s campaign for spring plays heavily off the more sculptural aspects of Lang’s spring-summer collection. Shot by early Lang collaborator Juergen Teller, the campaign emphasizes the color and play of light off the skirts and the asymmetrical shapes of cutout tank tops for men.

This story first appeared in the February 10, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Lang explained Monday that Teller’s photographs, like the collection itself, take their cue from the sculptures of Louise Bourgeois (herself the earlier subject of a Lang campaign) and John Chamberlain, whose crushed metal pieces are referenced in the splayed skirts in the ads.

The vibrant colors — greens, blues, silver and amber — are a departure from the designer’s more recent monochromatic campaigns, but that’s to be expected, Lang said. “It’s a season about color, definitely,” he said, bemused by a question about his black-and-white tendencies. “If you do a collection about color, it makes sense to have a lot of color.”

In line with the sculptural influence, “we tried to kind of focus on just the objects in the advertisements,” which explains why only patches of the models’ skin are visible. He wanted to deliberately eschew showing what the skirts would look like on the wearer because “we knew just after showing in Paris that these would be the most photographed items in editorials, so we thought it would look good in the ads in a still life kind of way. And Juergen seems to be good for that.”

One ad, which is running only in art magazines and French and Italian Vogue, is a reproduction of artist Luca Stoppini’s abstract “untitled (Ester-02A).” The original is on display in Lang’s Milan store now through July. The overall campaign is running in such titles as W, Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine.

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