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1998 Sleeveless Top with Asymmetric Neckline

Helmut Lang

1998 Sleeveless Top with Asymmetric Neckline


Size IT 44 (unmarked): Best for any size between a Women's UK 12/US 8 and a UK 8/US 4. Can also be worn by men sized between a slim IT 48 - 38 Chest - S/M and an IT 44 - 34 Chest - XS.

Helmut Lang vest with asymmetric neck 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, 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 restrained use of asymmetric features has been one of Lang's hallmarks since the label's beginnings, and this piece demonstrates this approach beautifully thanks to its resolute simplicity. In my view, its streamlined construction makes it unisex. The top has a slightly oversized shape, with dropped shoulders and a straight body. The neckline has been enlarged considerably and placed dramatically towards the right, producing a nonchalant and yet controlled effect. 

Constructed with as little superficial detailing as possible, the design invites the wearer to focus on the purity of its form and beautiful fabrication. The fabric is luxurious heavyweight cotton jersey with a mercerised treatment. The finely knit material has a deep colour and a slightly lustrous surface. Furthermore, its high thread count results in a pleasantly rich and smooth texture while ensuring that it will maintain its softness and colour for longer. The neckline is finished with a wide band of fabric, cut to give it a slightly three-dimensional shape. The armhole edges are finished with a single topstitch (instead of binding) to minimise their volume and create a cleaner silhouette. Likewise, the hem is secured with a simple coverstitch.  

A beautiful epitome of Lang's quiet avant-garde aesthetic, this T-shirt shows us how even the most simple of forms can be given couture gravitas. In beautiful condition despite its age, it is a true rarity.

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