1998 Structured Jersey Polo Shirt with Spiral Seams
Size M: Best for a Womens' UK 10/US 6 or a UK 8/US 4.
Helmut Lang asymmetric polo shirt from A/W 1998-1999. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.
1998 was a very important year for Helmut Lang. The company relocated its offices from Vienna to Manhattan, making it the first fashion house to change continent, while the runway presentations move from Paris to New York. Later that year, helmutlang.com was launched and A/W 1998-1999 was the first fashion collection to be presented online. Besides these influential firsts, A/W 1998-1999 is seen as one of Lang's seminal collections, showcasing the first major exploration of the abstract and layered streetwear that became synonymous with his late 90s output. The main source of inspiration was contemporary military uniforms, which had been a recurrent theme in Lang's designs since the decade's beginnings. Still, unlike previous seasons where the appropriation of military forms was straightforward and clear-cut, A/W 1998-1999 showcased a variety of unique garments whose aesthetic, detailing and execution were characteristically Lang.
Part of the Helmut Lang Jeans line, this polo shirt has a streamlined design based on early 19th century sportswear. At the same time, Lang has borrowed elements from his classic men's shirts and modified typical details to create a minimalist staple that looks timelessly modern despite its traditional origins. The piece is crafted from a dense jersey fabric 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 throughout with flattering narrow shoulders.
A variety of interesting details become apparent upon a closer inspection. The front buttoned opening has been elongated to reach the middle of the torso, and constructed using as less visible stitching as possible to achieve a cleaner appearance. The buttons are mother-of-pearl and the closure leads up to a masculine point collar with a strong yet subtle shape. A reinforced patch pocket (usually seen in Lang's men's shirts) decorates the chest. The side seams of the torso spiral considerably towards the right, enhancing the drape of the piece while creating a subtle point of interest. The curved hems also reflect this asymmetry, and the back is cut slightly longer than the front.
Lang made no compromise in regards to the cut, fabrication and finishing of his garments. With its precise silhouette and militaristic undertones, this piece is a well executed wardrobe staple that remains relevant 20 years after its design.