Helmut Lang has often been praised for his 'deconstructive' designs. With basic garment forms as the starting point, Lang created subversively elegant and abstract designs that combined the classic with the avant-garde. This experimentation was amply demonstrated in S/S 2001, where Lang explored ways of revealing the body. Cut-outs and laces were used to decorate tops, trousers and outerwear, while dresses featured straps and perforations that created a subtle yet sensual effect.The wearer's body is highlighted and in turn becomes an essential component of the design itself. S/S 2001 can thus be understood as a quintessential Helmut Lang collection, combining his cerebral conceptualism with a new sense ofraw-yet-refined sexiness.
Minimalist yet directional, this top is a more casual rendition of the collection's main themes. Based on a classic tank top, it has an effortless athletic silhouette that certainly has unisex appeal. On the shoulders and armholes, layered straps create a striking graphic detail that accentuates the body of the wearer. Strapped elements like this can be seen throughout the show, as well as earlier Helmut Lang collections (pictured: A/W 1995, S/S 1997).
The finishing of the piece ismeticulous, giving substance to its directional design. The neckline and armholes are finished with self-fabric binding, while precise bar tacks at the areas where the straps meet the body protect the intricate structure of the design. Like most Helmut Lang basics from this period,the fine cotton jersey fabric is nothing like ordinary T-shirt fabrics; it feels firm, smooth and pleasant against the skin. Furthermore, it has a mercerised treatment that gives it a faint luster.
Although this is a simple piece designed for everyday wear, its level of craftsmanship sets it apart from typical basics. At the same time, its beautiful features will make it the focal point of any casual outfit.