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The minimalist pioneer Helmut Lang walked away from his namesake label in 2005 to focus exclusively on his art practice. When a 2010 fire destroyed more than 9,000 items in his personal archive, he made “fabric confetti” of the surviving pieces and used resin to fashion them into sculptures. Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello, a longtime admirer of Lang’s pared-back approach and collaborations with artists like Jenny Holzer and Louise Bourgeois, has now tapped the Austrian designer-turned-artist for a series of like-minded totemic sculptures on display at the French maison’s experimental storefront in Paris.
Slightly evocative of Brutalism, the floor-to-ceiling pillars feature compacted Saint Laurent items including shredded clothing prototypes and unfinished jewelry mixed with pigmented resin and molded in aluminum. The narrative is one of transformation and authenticity: “Helmut was the first to stand up against artificial promotional messages,” Vaccarello told the Business of Fashion. “His vision and art direction brought everyone back to the real and meaningful essence of fashion.” The same can be said for these sculptures, which will travel to Los Angeles later this fall and be available for purchase.