Designer Profile: Luar

Raul Lopez, designer. Photo courtesy of Vogue.

Raul Lopez makes clothes for the future, where the patriarchy has crumbled and AI bots’ styles are the most coveted thing in fashion. Lopez began his career as one of the founding members of Hood By Air, but left to start his own brand, previously labeled Luar Zepol. After a two-year hiatus, Lopez returned to fashion in 2017 recharged and launched Luar.

Dystopia and unabashed femininity run rampant throughout Luar’s collections. Never shedding its street wear or club sensibility, Luar encompasses all things futuristic and is most inspired by technology. The brand is for the progressive minded, for those who understand that gender is constructed and that labels are something of the past and limiting. No, skirts and dresses are not just for women. They’re for everyone. Lopez’s personal philosophy, one engrained in all his projects, is that fashion and music go hand in hand, one cannot exist without the other. How else do you create an encompassing culture and community? It’s easy to see the kind of space that Lopez occupies when you look at his collections.

Lopez uses his lines to express his opinions and tell stories through his garments. In his first few Luar Zepol collections, it was an exploration of the designer’s identity and upbringing. With Luar, Lopez is using his platform to express his opinions and critique what’s happening around him. 2018 was the designer’s first venture into a full women’s ready to wear collection and, as he explained it, “was focused on the type of woman who is in touch with her hyper-masculine side, one on a power trip and one who is looking for revenge on any man that has ever tried to make her feel ashamed.” He adds, “She is complex — she loves a night out on Dyckman Street [in New York’s Inwood area], but also lives for an elegant and classy moment.” In both his women and men’s lines, Lopez sent out models in deconstructed business people and bankers’attire: ties sewn together to form skirts, deconstructed blazers, and men’s shirts reformed to create something totally new. Trump-esque hair pieces attached to models and Wu Tang Clan’s lyrics “Cash Rules Everything Around me” sprinkled throughout the collection.

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Helmut Lang looks to return to its Roots in the Bold

In March, Helmut Lang’s chief executive Andrew Rosen announced major shakeups to the brand. He appointed Isabella Burley, who is also the editor-in-chief at Dazed Magazine, as the brand’s editor-in-residence. Helmut Lang also tapped into to Hood By Air’s head designer Shayne Oliver to create a special collection for the brand. The company is reaching for its original roots in the bold.

Shayne Oliver seen by Ethan James Green Courtesy of Helmut Lang’s Instagram
Traci Lords seen by Ethan James Green Courtesy of Helmut Lang Instagram

Helmut Lang recently launched a new website and social media account. There is an incredible campaign available via their Instagram shot by the legendary photographer Ethan James Green; the model lineup is just as good, and involves the likes of photographer Larry Clark, performance artist Kembra Ffahler, musician Ian Isa, metal band Unlocking the Truth, adult film star turned cult actress Traci Lords, model Alek Wek, Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny aka Little Miss Flint, street cast models Dara, Yoshi and Nicky Rat, Alanie Quinones, Grace Gee and Aurel Haize, and Shayne Oliver himself. The campaign was styled by Dazed creative Robbie Spencer. If it’s relevance they are after, the team they have assembled is sure to get them there.

Larry Clark seen by Ethan James

In 1999, Helmut Lang, the designer, lost creative control over his own brand when Prada bought 51% of the company shares. Lang walked away from fashion in 2005 and Prada quickly sold the brand to Link Theory holdings, a Japanese conglomerate that owns Uniqlo. With the designer went the brand’s sense of cool — Lang had ingenious ways of bringing bondage, work wear sensibilities, and minimalist silhouettes to high fashion. His ideas still constantly echo throughout runways today.

Shayne Oliver feels like the right guy to bring the brand back to its innovative status. With no real concern for the gender of garments, Oliver’s own line, Hood by Air, mixes fetish, club wear, and high fashion while harnessing the power of streetwear. Since its inception in 2006, Hood by Air has gained both underground approval and critical acclaim — it is the only authentic streetwear line that has taken home a CDFA Swarvoski Menswear Award. While its collections are dazzling and hyped, the importance of Hood by Air lies in its ability to break down identities of its wearers. It will be exciting to see what Oliver creates with the infamous and ever copied Helmut Lang archive.

Little Miss Flint seen by Ethan James Green courtesy of Helmut Lang
Kembra and Nicky seen by Ethan James Green courtesy of Helmut Lang Instagram

Helmut Lang has announced two more upcoming creative projects. The first, Helmut Lang Re-Edition, will reissue important heritage works: a series of fifteen pieces will be dropping every four months beginning this coming September. The second project will show Helmut rekindle its affair with the art world — previous partnerships have included prominent artists Robert Mapplethorpe and Louise Boureouis. Every month of the coming year, a new artist will release limited-edition posters, t-shirts, and other products with the brand.

Shayne Oliver’s collection, HELMUT LANG SEEN BY SHAYNE OLIVER, will debut on Monday, September 11th during New York Fashion Week. The collection will include men’s and women’s clothing as well as accessories. From what is already available, it looks like the collection is going to be incredible.

MADE Fashion Week

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How do you describe Made Fashion Week other than a collection of the coolest, most interesting people in Los Angeles?

MOSCHINO SS 2017

More like another smash party hosted by Jeremy Scott! Check out the collection of friends that either walked or attended his show, including Cindy Crawford (whose son, Presley Gerber, made his runway debut), Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr, Hailey Baldwin, and Devon Aoki (!!!). The clothes themselves were a mix of festive prints on tight skirts and tiny tops, matched with psychedelic flare pants and groovy hats. As usual, Scott pushes boundaries using fun and a sense of humour.

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Photo Courtesy of The Cobra Snake
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Photo Courtesy of The Cobra Snake
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Photo Courtesy of The Cobra Snake
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Photo Courtesy of The Cobra Snake

GOLF WANG 2016

Tyler, The Creator, made his runway debut featuring t-shirts he wished were already made, clothes in his favourite colour (Kelly Green), and a front-row collection of his closest friends–which means Kendall Jenner and Kanye West. The collection itself is entirely charming, including bold print tees, polka dot denim, and graphic hoodies. For someone who has “never been to a fashion show,” the presentation was very impressive.

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Photo Courtesy of Andrew Boyle and Andy J. Scott
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Photo Courtesy of Andrew Boyle and Andy J. Scott
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Photo Courtesy of Andrew Boyle and Andy J. Scott
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Photo Courtesy of Andrew Boyle and Andy J. Scott

HOOD BY AIR

Far from the bright colours and carefree attitude so present at the other shows was the collection and presentation of Hood by Air. Dark and moody, the clothes echoed that of favourite fashion Vetements: oversized hoodies, graphic print details, and sarcasm. Bloody-esque makeup and a live performance by Yves Tumor topped the cake.

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Photo Courtesy of Pat Bombard and Andy J. Scott
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Photo Courtesy of Pat Bombard and Andy J. Scott
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Photo Courtesy of Pat Bombard and Andy J. Scott

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