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1998 Vintage Bleached Denim 3 Slash Pocket Jacket

Helmut Lang

1998 Vintage Bleached Denim 3 Slash Pocket Jacket


Size IT 42: Best for an IT 44 - 34 Chest - XS, a Women's UK 12/US 8 or a UK 10/US 6.

Helmut Lang distressed denim jacket from S/S 1998. In excellent used condition with minor signs of wear. Made in Italy.

'It’s not trashy and loud. That’s not our thing. But it’s often very ornate – just not old ornate.'
-Helmut Lang

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. Jean jackets were a strong source of inspiration for the Austrian designer, who created countless designs citing their distinctive workwear heritage. In turn, fashion critics have widely acknowledged that his innovative approach was catalytic in the transformation of classic jeans to covetable high fashion items.

Introduced in 1997, the 'Slash Pocket' design is one of Helmut Lang's boldest reinterpretations of mid-century denim jackets. With Levi's 557XX jacket as the starting point, Lang has reduced the number of panels on the torso and added a horizontal panel on the waist. The chest pockets have been reduced to precise slits, finished with militaristic rectangular storage stitching. The result is understated yet highly unconventional. A small change pocket placed discreetly along the waist panel's seam adds an asymmetric and utilitarian point of interest that is quintessential Lang. A distinctive point collar completes the design.

The piece is crafted from the heavyweight denim we have come to expect from Lang, but in this instance the material has been washed, sanded, bleached and distressed. This intense treatment produces a striking vintage appearance with a pronounced green/yellow tint, accompanied by small sections where the fabric's original blue colour is apparent. The fabric has substantial weight, giving structure to the clean shape. The silhouette is timelessly sharp with a semi-fitted straight body and high armholes that give definition to the shoulders. 

The construction of this piece is excellent and hard-wearing like all Helmut Lang denim garments. Precise lines and absolute symmetry highlight the designer's attention-to-detail, while honouring the design's traditional workwear origins. The buttoned cuffs are finished with pleats, while the lower waist panel is double-layered for a stronger shape. The hardware has an antique silver finish and is engraved with the Helmut Lang logo. On the inside, flat-fell seams protect the interior from undesirable fraying while making the jacket reversible and indestructible. Furthermore, selected details such as the buttonholes are sewn with black instead of orange thread to achieve a cleaner look.

A highly unconventional design, this piece is a fantastic demonstration of Helmut Lang's transgressive streetwear creations from the 1990s. Its striking fabric and directional details will make a bold, timelessly avant-garde statement. Strongly recommended.

The modelled product photos are property of FarFetch.

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