1997 Safety Yellow Military T-Shirt with Slashed Sleeves
Size S (unmarked); women's S or XS.
Helmut Lang neon deconstructed long-sleeve top from A/W 1997-1998. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.
For the Helmut Lang Jeans A/W 1997 collection (the first winter season of the year-old line), Lang took the denim-centred explorations of S/S 1997 to new heights of sophistication. While the runway presentation focused on soft translucent layers and the clean lines of his mainline tailoring, the Jeans line's sportswear is now considered to be some of Lang's most covetable output. As part of this range Lang introduces the iconic 'bulletproof' vest, his renown take on the M-51 military parka and several groundbreaking shapes and fabric treatments for denim.
This spectacular top captures Lang's avant-garde streetwear spirit at its most impactful. Crafted from an intense neon safety yellow jersey, the T-shirt features shiny nylon taffeta patches on the shoulders and chest. Drawing inspiration from British Navy sweaters, Lang has used these patch details since the early 1990s and a similar piece can be seen on the S/S 1997 Helmut Lang Jeans campaign. The sleeves feature Lang's iconic 'slashed' construction on the inner elbows. This unique element has become one of the designer's hallmarks and variations can be seen in several of his collections from A/W 1993 until the label's demise (Pictured: A/W 1997, A/W 1999, A/W 1996). Subtle yet impactful, it artfully turns the wearer's body and arm movements into essential aspects of the garment's design.
The fabric is a dense jersey with a structured finish. Like most jersey fabrics used by Lang, it has a mercerised finish that gives it a delicate pearlescent shine. The cut is fitted with narrow shoulders and slim elongated sleeves. The side seams of the torso spiral towards the right, enhancing the drape of the piece while creating a subtle point of interest. Furthermore, the slashed sections of the sleeves have a double-layered construction finished with a strong reinforcement coverstitch to maintain their distinctive shape. The wide crew neckline is finished with self-fabric binding.
A statement piece that combines everyday versatility with couture sophistication, this top is a beautiful example of Helmut Lang's transgressive 1990s creations. Its striking colour and directional details will make a bold, timelessly avant-garde statement. Strongly recommended.