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Helmut Lang archive book
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The new, limited edition book going deep into Helmut Lang’s archive

1986-2005 is the latest release from independent Japanese publisher

After hunting down every item of clothing Raf Simons ever created – excluding his mysteriously untraceable SS01 collection, which was nowhere to be found – and documenting them as part of archive tome 1996-2001 / 2001-2006, you’d think that publisher Hideo Hashiura would likely want to take a breather, right? Wrong.

The founder of independent publishing house and Tokyo institution LAILA vintage store instead moved straight on to a series of impressive projects: marking the end of Phoebe Philo’s tenure at Céline with a curated exhibition of her debut collection for the house, and collaborating on a special capsule collection with Antwerp Six member Marina Yee.  

Now, Hashiura lets his latest project loose on the world: a two-book set entitled 1986-2005, which documents a huge number of pieces from Helmut Lang’s vast archive. But unlike the Raf Simons-dedicated book – for which Hashiura sought out rare pieces from collectors, archivists, and mega-fans around the world – this time around, all pieces were taken from his and his co-founder’s personal collection of Lang pieces, as compiled over the course of the last two decades.

While not as comprehensive as 1996-2001 / 2001-2006 – given Lang famously donated much of his archive to museums when he bowed out of his eponymous label in ‘06, before shredding what was left to make sculptures some years later – 1986-2005 is filled with some of the designer’s most recognisable pieces. Included among the pages are SS98’s distressed denim painter jeans, the SS97 striped denim jacket Raf Simons wore to take his bow at his first ever Dior show, and a series of signature printed tees and bomber jackets.

“There were many more pieces that we wanted to include that we couldn’t track down, though,” explains Hashiura. “We’d have loved to have documented some of Lang’s amazing harnesses and body accessories.”

Perhaps, in that case, a second volume could be on the cards? Hashiura laughs: “We just published this, so really can’t think about the next one yet!”