1995 Transparent Jersey Phoenix T-Shirt with Slashed Sleeves
Size M (stretchy): Best for any size between a Women's UK 6/US 4 and a slim UK 12/US 10.
Helmut Lang Phoenix T-shirt from A/W 1995-1996. In brand new condition with minor storage wear. Made in Italy.
Lang's A/W 1995 collection was a bold step towards the establishment of the Austrian designer as one of his generation's foremost avant-garde voices. Carrying on the previous collections' high fashion clubwear aesthetic, Lang opted for combinations of synthetic and natural materials that gave a classic extravagance to the ensembles. Many of Lang's signatures at the time -sheer layers, reflective details and clean silhouettes- were present, however there was a certain sobriety that is more often associated with traditional eveningwear. In our view, few designs in Lang's entire body of work are as iconic as this T-shirt. Part of the Met Museum's permanent collection since 1996 (pictured), it is a true representation of Lang's paradigm-shifting work in the 1990s.
The top is crafted from Helmut Lang's signature transparent nylon jersey, which has a crisp texture and light drape more commonly found in performance textiles. The soft nylon knit clings gently to the body and can be daring or subtle depending on what is worn underneath. An ornate phoenix detail has been irregularly applied on various parts of the fabric using thick rubber, creating a beautiful and somewhat ambiguous point of interest. The silhouette is form-fitting and slightly elongated with narrow sleeves.
Thoughtful construction details give couture gravitas to this gorgeous piece. The shoulders have an ingenious raglan-esque construction, with the sleeves shaped using the same piece of fabric as the upper back. To complement this pattern, Lang has added reinforced binding to the shoulder seams, which then become part of the wide crew neckline. The two-piece sleeves feature Lang's iconic 'slashed' construction on the outer elbows: This subtle yet impactful detail artfully turns the body and its movements into an essential part of the top's design. Slashed details have since become a hallmark of Helmut Lang's original womenswear (pictured: A/W 95, S/S 94 and A/W 96).
To conclude, this quintessential Helmut Lang design is in unworn archival condition; its rarity cannot be overstated. Furthermore, although it was presented on a runway over twenty years ago, it remains as cutting-edge as the time when Lang's name was still being discovered by fashion cognoscenti. While making a very sophisticated and directional statement, we are certain that any modern fashion curator would be happy to showcase it in their collection.