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Inside the world’s premiere sources of collectible and historical vintage.
Photographs Robert Kulisek
Fashion Ron Hartleben
Words Ray Siegel
There’s only one reason to dwell in the past, and that’s for the love of vintage fashion. We find our obsession with it therapeutic and useful for a variety of reasons, and consider ourselves lucky that one of the world’s premiere sources of collectible and historical vintage is located conveniently near the CR headquarters in downtown, New York. Resurrection Vintage, which first began as New York and Los Angeles retail concepts founded by Katy Rodriguez and Mark Haddawy 1996, continues its dedication to fashion preservation at its Resurrection Archive Studio. In our interpretation of the most current fashion, you’d be surprised how often it requires a trip through the past. (See our current issue that’s dedicated entirely to 18th century fashion ala Marie Antoinette.) We know we’re not alone—the top fashion, media, and film gurus regularly pay visits to Resurrection for research, design, and development. There’s so much that the artists of today can take away from the innovation and craftsmanship of fashion’s past.
A few particular points of interest is at Resurrection is the extensive collections of Margiela, Comme des Garçons, Balenciaga, and Vivienne Westwood that contain some of the most key fashion pieces from the 21st century. They have access to the rarest pieces and they know what collectors have an eye out for. “We love Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga,” founder Katy Rodriguez says. We have collection in our archive for several years, but have started to move key pieces to our store. Scuba pieces are the most coveted among collectors and fashionistas. We just bough Charlotte Gainsbourg’s 2003 scuba dresss, which was quite exciting.” Alaia is also marked as high priority for collections, and Rodriguez has no shortage of that either. “We love Mr. Alaia. The most exciting days at Resurrection are when he stops by to visit us. The leather pieces from the 1980s are so sexy—they look as fierce today as they did 30 years ago. The cutout skirts are coveted by collectors are extremely rare.”
Our most CR original editorial is the result of a day spent the day at Resurrection’s incredible archive. We found a key dogtooth coat from McQueen’s 2009 collection, sought after Alaia denim, and a Jean Paul Gaultier bodysuit that was one of three. “Gaultier has been a staple at Resurrection since we opened 20 years ago. We bought a collection of three bodysuits and the one pictured, we kept. If I remember correctly, the Traina sisters bought the other two! We have a massive collection of Gaultier and we continue to heavily collect.” Scroll through the full story to be inspired to start your own collection, or simply to drool over.
There are few real holy grails in fashion, and yet nearly anything authentically Helmut Lang falls into that category. The Austrian-born designer, who left the industry to become an artist in 2005, was the lord almighty of fashion from the early ’90s up until his retirement, championing clothing with a minimalist, streetwise utility and sculptural details. Look back on his runway shows, cataloged for the first time online on Vogue Runway earlier this year, and you’ll see that his feather-lined puffas and bias jersey dresses have a sort of timelessness, thanks in part to the new guard of designers who plumb Lang’s motifs for their own runway collections today. No shade there—much of Lang’s archive was destroyed in a fire in 2010, meaning there’s not much of the designer’s authentic garb to go around. Until now, that is. Tomorrow Resurrection Vintage opens a massive sale of Helmut Lang pieces that will be staged at both its New York and Los Angeles locations and online. That sound you hear is the collective “whoop!” from fashion folks around the world.
“Like everyone, both Mark [Haddawy, Resurrection’s cofounder] and I loved Helmut’s clothes. We wore them, and as time progressed we started putting things away,” Resurrection cofounder Katy Rodriguez tells Vogue.com. “But the funny thing about Helmut is that we’ve hardly ever sold it. Basically, we bought it because we’ve loved it. It’s funny with this one because it’s sort of like our own time. We’ve been doing this long enough that our own time has come around to collect it. We opened in 1996 in the height of Helmut Lang mania, and started buying it then. I think the reason is that we both just felt such a love for his designs and that period. It was sort of the perfect streetwear.”
Tomorrow Rodriguez and Haddawy crack open their archive of runway pieces, samples, never-produced pieces gifted to models, and more. “We just look for amazing pieces and we get pieces from everywhere,” Rodriguez explains of their process: “dealers, auctions, ex-models, stylists, people who bought the clothes. They come in, especially with his stuff, from all walks of life.”
To those familiar with Lang’s brilliant oeuvre, take note: All the highlights are here. The metallic silver jackets from Fall 1999 are positioned beside the sculptural skirts from Spring 2004. A black parka, also from Lang’s ’99 show, hangs from backpack straps on a mannequin while another wears the tattered jeans sported by Boyd Holbrook on a 2004 runway. (That was back when the now-actor was Lang’s go-to male model.) “If you like Helmut Lang, when you come in, it’s really going to tell a story of his work, especially in the ’94 to ’04 years, those 10 years when they were really on fire making a lot of clothes,” says Rodriguez. “It will be really fun because there will be complete looks and runway pieces and ready-to-wear where you could actually get the whole look. From our perspective, we put it together that way for historical purposes because we work with a lot of museums and collectors. This sale is interesting because there’s both that collector type and the person who wants to buy it and wear it as streetwear.”
To find out why now is the moment the pair wanted to dig in to their massive archive, you needn’t look further than the current runways. “Over the last five years or so the interest in Helmut Lang has just quadrupled. Everyone is really, really interested in his work, and not just designers and stylists but young people, especially. With people like Raf Simons being very popular and other creatives of that next generation who get young people to look back and love that stuff from the ’90s and the early ’00s, Helmut is becoming more and more popular,” Rodriguez explains.
She goes on to equate the Austrian designer to Yves Saint Laurent, the prince of fashion in the ’70s. “When someone really revolutionizes the way we dress day to day and really blurs the lines between men and women, it becomes a massive movement that was so much more than clothes. It really spoke to that time that people were living in and was really about what was happening in that moment. I think that’s the hardest thing to do as a designer.”
Or put it more succinctly: “You never feel when you look at Helmut Lang stuff, well that year ruffles were in,” the collector laughs. In this case, timelessness is next to godliness, and we’ll amen to that.
A selection of Helmut Lang’s archival pieces will be on view and for sale at Resurrection Vintage New York, 45 Great Jones Street; and Resurrection Vintage Los Angeles, 8006 Melrose Avenue; as well as online starting Tuesday, November 15.
We are excited to annnounce HELMUT LANG: ARTIFACTS. A rare and important collection of Helmut Lang from the 1990′s – 2005. Some of Lang’s most memorable runway looks and iconic designs for men and women will be on display and for sale along with over 200+ pieces of the designer’s bags, accessories, jewelry and watches.
HELMUT LANG ARTIFACTS OPENS 11/15/2016
Thanks to our friends over at Dazed for the write up below.
A major collection of archive Helmut Lang is going on sale
Helmut Lang SS04 campaignPhotography Juergen Teller, via pinterest.com
Resurrection Vintage is selling some of the minimalist designer’s most iconic looks
Helmut Lang is one of the most pioneering designers in recent fashion memory, crafting a minimal, youth culture-inspired look that has gone on to inspire everyone from Raf Simons to Phoebe Philo. It’s been around 11 years since he gave up fashion, leaving the brand he founded, to focus on his art – and now some of his most iconic designs are going on sale.
In a project called HELMUT LANG: ARTIFACTS, Resurrection Vintage is presenting a collection of the designer’s garments from the 1990s right up until his departure in 2005. The boutique, which has stores in New York and Los Angeles, is selling some of his most iconic runway looks – such as the metallic flash shirt that opened his AW94 show – along with handbags, accessories, jewellery and timepieces.
If you’re not local to NY or LA, don’t worry, HELMUT LANG: ARTIFACTS will be in-store and online on November 15, 2016.
Lang’s designs (particulary from this period) are quite rare, not least because the designer shredded 6,000 items of his clothing in 2011 to create materials for twelve column-like sculptures that featured in his Make It Hard exhibition.
“The inspiration came through outside force,” he said in a Dazed interview. “In February 2010, after a fire in the building where our studio in New York is located, which could have destroyed the rest of the archive, and after going for months through the pieces to see in which condition they are, I slowly became intrigued by the idea of destroying it myself and use it as raw material for my art.”
We are excited to announce the opening of Pierre Cardin Haute Couture at Resurrection. This important collection features over 20 pieces of rare and important couture dresses and evening ensembles from the 1980’s and early 1990’s. This rare and stunning collection is available exclusively at Resurrection.
Resurrection is excited to offer an original Martin Margiela pink velvet gown from Margiela’s seminal 1995 collection. This rare and unusual piece of history is available exclusively at Resurrection. Visit our boutiques and web store for the largest collection of important and original Maison Martin Margiela on the internet.
RESURRECTION LA NOW OPEN SATURDAYS
DON’T SEE IT HERE? Contact stylist to source your Maison Martin Margiela requests!
NEW ARRIVALS! We have new merchandise for Fall 2016 arriving daily.
Click here to see our latest acquisitions.
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Pioneers of Vintage and Historic Modern Sartorial Wonders