1999 Platinum-Printed Lamb Leather Biker Trousers
IT 44: best for a 29" or 30" waist.
Helmut Lang metallic biker trousers from S/S 1999. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy. RRP: $3040 (£2036)
The late 1990s/early 2000s mark an important transition in Helmut Lang's work. His streetwear designs are increasingly becoming more layered and abstract, often with subtle references to subcultural styles. While the S/S 99 runway maintained a rather minimalist tone, many of the garments that were showcased were adorned with interior harnesses and asymmetric strapped details. On the accessories front, raver-inspired storage packs with straps were shown wrapped around the models' arms, legs and waist. This iconic pair of biker trousers was one of Lang's signature pieces for 1999, shown on both winter and summer runways.
The most remarkable feature of the trousers is undoubtedly their unique leather; in our view, this is one of the most special materials Lang has ever used. The heavy lamb leather has been distressed to give it pronounced grains with beautiful texture variations. While being rather thick and durable, it is also surprisingly soft and pleasant to touch. The material has not been dyed for a natural beige colour, and after the tanning process it was superficially coated with silver pigment (described by Lang as 'platinum print'). This results in a gorgeous luster that still allows the irregularities and original colour of the leather to show through.
The trousers have a slim cut and a narrow straight leg with an intricate three-dimensional silhouette. The knees are structured with quilted panels and darts to optimise movement while producing an articulated cut that follows the lines of the body. The waist is constructed without a separate waistband for a cleaner look, while Helmut Lang's signature strap adjusters decorate the back seat. The ankles are finished with metal zippers and all hardware has a polished silver finish. The interior features multiple straps for hanging and a rectangular change pocket which is not visible from the outside (a detail exclusive to A/W 99).
Overall, the craftsmanship and attention to detail of these trousers is exceptional. The articulated areas of the knees feature thick padding like authentic protective equipment. The waist has a zip fly with an invisible snap button that complements the precise shape of the waistband while preventing uneven stretching. Likewise, the back pockets secure with zippers. The interior is fully lined in thick and smooth viscose satin, making the trousers a pleasure to wear. The lining is precisely tailored to follow the lines of the exterior construction.
One of Helmut Lang's most coveted designs, these truly iconic trousers demonstrate the timeless relevance of his vision, which has been reproduced numerous times by younger designers but never fully replicated. Their spectacular leather and excellent craftsmanship will undoubtedly make them one of your most cherished garments for years to come.