2000 Vintage Sanded Denim Grey Painter Cut-Off Shorts (Light Wash, Size 29)
Size 29: Best for a 29" or 30" waist. Inseam length: 5".
Helmut Lang blue cut-off jean shorts with painted details from S/S 2000. In excellent used condition with minor reinforcement of seams. Made in Italy.
In 1996, Helmut Lang was offered the job of head designer at Balenciaga. 'It’s about America. It’s not about couture', he famously stated after rejecting the maison's proposal. Indeed, Lang had an enduring fascination with American workwear and particularly its most iconic identifier, denim. And of course, few garments are more representative of denim than the classic 5-pocket blue jeans. Their archetypal design was a strong source of inspiration for the designer, who transformed classic denim staples to highly conceptual garments. In turn, his jeans were not only praised for their sophisticated fabrications but also for their distinctive and precisely-fitting silhouette. Renown NY fashion buyer Gene Pressman stated in 2006:
'Lang has mastered the old-fashioned fit of just being tight and narrow. The [fabrics] are worn in the way I like them. [...] And if Helmut Lang goes out of business? Look for vintage Helmut Lang jeans.'
Lang's iconic 'Painter Jean' was introduced for S/S 1998 and is certainly one of his most celebrated denim creations. Besides dominating the runway show (pictured), the jeans were worn by actress Nicolette Krebitz on the cover of New Order's 2001 album 'Get Ready', directed by Peter Saville and photographed by Juergen Teller. Nearly two decades after their release, they have become one of Lang's most coveted garments.
The jeans' detailing is inspired by Levi's 1947 501XX model, featuring a traditional five-pocket design reinforced with metal rivets. The fabric is heavyweight denim that has been washed, stained, sanded and distressed, resulting in a light indigo colour with a vintage effect. The coloured splashes found throughout the piece (the hallmark of the 'painter' model) have been screen printed using grey ink. The piece has been shortened extensively by a previous owner, transforming them to shorts with frayed hems that are very much in line with the aesthetic of the original design.
The jeans have Lang's 'Italian' cut which consists of a medium rise, fitted seat and fitted thigh. This is the slimmer silhouette offered by the designer. Like all Helmut Lang denim, the finishing is of a very high standard. The hardware has an antique silver finish and is engraved with the Helmut Lang logo, while the interior is flawlessly finished with mainly flat fell seams that ensure the jeans will be worn for years without fraying.
Overall, these shorts are easy to wear and perfect for the warmer seasons. At the same time, Lang's distinctive paint splashes add an unexpected element that sets them apart from similar garments.