2005 Wool Felt Double-Breasted Bomber Coat with Oversized Lapels
IT 48 - 38 Chest - S/M: Can also fit an IT 46 - 36 Chest - S.
Helmut Lang asymmetric winter coat from A/W 2005-2006. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy. RRP: £1235
The A/W 2005-2006 collection is an obscure chapter of Helmut Lang's career, presented without a runway show and devoid of any press coverage. Very little is known about its conditions of production; Did Lang fully participate in its design before his January 2005 departure or was it conceived by the brand's design team? The few records that have come to our attention suggest that the collection introduced novel elements to Helmut Lang menswear, while remaining consistent with the aesthetic of the brand. New materials were developed, including a ribbed knit bound with nappa leather and tailoring wools that were resin-coated and heat-pressed. Outerwear inspired by mid-century despatch coats featured asymmetric closures, irregularly placed pockets and metal stud details. Although the collection's production was extremely limited, certain loyal Helmut Lang buyers did follow up with orders and thus traces of the collection became available. This very special coat is a rare example.
The coat has a directional design with a bold double-breasted closure that forms wide, irregularly-shaped lapels that drape beautifully when open. This introduces the parameter of appearance in motion, which rarely occupied Lang's predating menswear. A horizontal gun flap covers the right side of the upper chest, while the neck features a chunky knit collar inspired by bomber jackets that expands asymmetrically along the lapels. The sleeves are finished with Lang's signature turn-up cuffs (first introduced for A/W 1995) and the waist features two pockets with large flaps. The back features a short buttoned vent. The cut is narrow and tailored with a fitted shoulderline and narrow sleeves. The fabric is a heavy wool felt that creates a clean, sculptural finish that greatly complements the avant-garde aesthetic of the piece.
Like many examples of Helmut Lang outerwear we have examined in the past, the quality of this piece is best appreciated upon a closer inspection of its details. The absence of padding gives a more natural shape to the coat that remains very sharp. Lang's classic resin buttons feature subtle HL engravings (a feature not seen in any garments from previous collections) and are backed from the interior to ensure they do not stretch the wool fabric. The layered parts of the exterior (gun flap and cuffs) are lined in tonal sateen. The fully lined interior features a large zipped pocket.
This rare piece from one of the least known periods of Helmut Lang's fashion career is another wonderful example of his paradigm-shifting approach to contemporary menswear. Merging avant-garde and classic, its striking design will add a strong point of interest in any sophisticated outfit. Furthermore, its high quality construction and fabrication indicate that its sharp lines will withstand wear well over time.