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1992 Tailored Sleeveless Top with Open Laced Front

Helmut Lang

1992 Tailored Sleeveless Top with Open Laced Front


Size IT 42: Best for any size between a Women's UK 8/US 6 and a slim UK 12/US 10.

Helmut Lang laced-front tailored top from A/W 1992-1993. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.

The early 1990s were undoubtedly one of Helmut Lang's most important periods: His novel aesthetic was starting to receive attention from outside Europe and the press described it as 'minimalist', often in juxtaposition to the visually saturated creations of Ferre and Versace from the late 1980s. Lang's designs represented a new approach to dressing, where luxury was achieved through effortless sophistication and an emphasis on luxurious fabrics and elegant cuts rather than gratuitous ornamentation and oversized logos.

The A/W 1992 collection was possibly one of Lang's strongest until that point and certainly his most groundbreaking. Restricting the colours to black, white and the occasional hint of metallic, Lang showed razor-sharp tailored shapes and striking knitwear that managed to combine the raw sensuality of contemporary clubwear with the avant-garde sensibilities of Parisian couture. A diverse variety of materials ranging from metallic nylons, polished leather and transparent jerseys to fine suiting fabrics and luxurious silks were used in entirely unexpected ways, firmly establishing Lang's still fairly obscure name as one of his generation's truly experimental designers. 

This interesting evening top has an open front construction, with thick horizontal laces used to connect each side. Like most Helmut Lang evening pieces that followed in later collections, the design is all about carefully concealing and revealing the body to create a sensual yet dignified garment characterised by sophistication and finesse. In this instance, the exposed space formed by the side front panels is contained by the laces to create an encased effect that Lang will explore further in his bondage-inspired collections. The top was shown in formal outfits on the runway presentation, where it strikingly contrasted with the clean surfaces of Lang's minimalist tailoring.

The piece is crafted from a fine cotton poplin fabric that Lang typically used for mens' shirting. The densely woven fabric has a smooth texture that complements the top's structured silhouette, closely tailored to follow the lines of the torso. A small concealed zipper is placed discreetly along the right side seam to put on the piece comfortably. The interior is fully lined in the same fabric as the exterior, with precisely finished seams that essentially make the piece reversible.

Overall, this is a very rare showpiece from an early Helmut Lang collection. Despite its age, its eye-catching design and luxurious finishing remain timelessly relevant and make it ideal for evening wear.

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