Whaaaaaat? According to WWD – Helmut Lang, the man not the brand (which is designed very well these days by Nicole and Michael Colovos), who is now an artist and has nothing whatsoever to do with the fashion biz, minimal or otherwise, SHREDDED an archive of 6000 pieces of his designer clothes in order to use the shreds as raw material for his art. Madness?
He does have precedents to draw on. Phoebe Philo, apparently insisted that, as a condition of her appointment to the house, all existing (vulgar, terrible TERRIBLE) Celine stock be destroyed (eek!) As well as a few examples in the contemporary art world. Michael Landy in 2001, systemically destroyed all his worldly possessions in an art piece called Break Down – which attracted a lot of publicity at the time. What about the KLF? They actually burned £1m in cash in 1995, which annoyed a lot of people, who thought the money could have been better used by being given to charity.
If YOU are interested in this sort of thing, then why not get yourself down to The Fireplace Project, a gallery in East Hampton, N.Y between July 22nd and August 8th. There you will find about a dozen stalactite-like pieces in Helmut’s solo exhibition titled ‘Make it Hard.’ According to writer and creative director Neville Wakefield, who is presenting the exhibition, Lang’s floor-to-ceiling column forms — made of scraps of fabrics, fur, feathers, leather, plastic, hair and metal from more than 25 years of fashion collections — erase the past and highlight ‘the transience of our creative endeavours.’