Helmut Lang FW 1997 Velvet shirt
This is a Helmut Lang velvet button up from Autumn/Winter 1997-1998.
For A/W 1997 -the first winter collection of his year-old Helmut Lang Jeans label-, Lang took the denim-based explorations of S/S 1997 to new heights of sophistication. While the runway show focused on the clean lines of Lang's tailoring, it is the streetwear that is now considered as some of his most covetable output: This collection introduces the iconic bulletproof vest, Lang's renown take on the M-51 military parka and several groundbreaking fabric treatments for denim. The iconic linear decorations seen on the S/S '97 show were present throughout the range, however this time they were realised in fine silk besides rubber. Amy Spindler writes:
'Helmut Lang's instincts have defined the 1990's, so all the designers who have been copying him for so long should take a close look at the way he staged his show this season. Instead of a flashy presentation, there was a modest workroom created in an uncrowded gallery. [...] Mr. Lang presented a quiet storm, taking ideas from past seasons and infusing them with elegance and sophistication. [...] But there was nothing conventionally pretty about it; it was a new notion of beauty and taste. [...] Tulle wound around forearms, fell like capes in the back from shoulders, or wound over even the simplest men's T-shirts. One crinkled pair of pants was made from layers of sheer fabric.'
Based on mid-century workwear, this piece stands out as one of the most elegant designs to be ever created as part of the Helmut Lang Jeans range. Instead of cotton or denim the designer has opted for a luxuriously thick cotton velvet with a soft drape and smooth hand. The streamlined design has two rectangular flap pockets on the chest and a button closure that leads up to a classic point collar.
Subtle yet interesting details add depth the elegant piece. The shiny buttons contrast strikingly with the deep black velvet fabric and create beautiful plays with texture. The cuffs are constructed with buttoned tabs. Overall, the strong geometrical lines of the shirt's construction give it an architectural precision that is often seen in Lang's designs from this period. Its beautiful design combines Lang's streetwear sensibilities with avant-garde sophistication, resulting in a visionary piece that has stood the test of time.
100% Cotton Velvet
Marked Size 42
Chest: 20 in.
Shoulder to Shoulder: 18 in.
Sleeve Length: 26 in.
Length: 24.5 in.
Hem: 17.5 in.
Made in Italy
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