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1994 Transparent Jersey Dress with Panelled Details

Helmut Lang

1994 Transparent Jersey Dress with Panelled Details


Size JP 9 Regular: Best for any size between a Women's UK 8/US 6 and a UK 12/US 10.

Helmut Lang mini dress from S/S 1994. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.

Helmut Lang's work during 1993 and 1994 was instrumental in the formation of the quietly avant-garde aesthetic that came to define his most successful years in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Cleverly incorporating punk style, contemporary clubwear and a unique eye for experimental materials, S/S 1994 demonstrates numerous fragments of the sophisticated transgression that is quintessential Lang. Its focus on contemporary reality instead of elusive showpieces marks one of Lang's earliest explorations of the ways streetwear can be adapted to devise highly conceptual avant-garde fashion. While being aesthetically groundbreaking, the garments from this period are extremely hard to find due to their extremely limited production.* This piece was produced for the Japanese market.

Few pieces are as prominent as the fuchsia top in Lang's body of work. Originally introduced as one of S/S 1994's key styles, its distinctive see-through fabrication and visually arresting colour can be observed in several Helmut Lang collections up until his final years as a fashion designer. Indeed, it is fair to assume that this colour holds a special meaning to Lang, having appeared in garments as well as his recent artworks (pictured: S/S 1994, S/S 1999, Five Primitive Life Forms on B/W (Study for Next Ever After) (2007) and Alone (2007) from Lang's first art show. 

Cut like an elongated tank top, the dress has a round neck and a narrow straight cut that expands slightly towards the hem. While the simple construction and clean lines of the dress could be conveniently described as 'minimalist', the piece boasts a certain dynamism that suggests the opposite. Still, in the same spirit as Lang's artworks, every detail counts. A diagonal seam adds a restrained yet striking element to the chest area, while abstract panels (whose abbreviated shape is most likely inspired by military cargo pockets) emphasize the double-layered hem. The soft nylon knit clings gently to the body, while its crisp texture and soft drape give it a feel more commonly found in performance sportswear. 

With a resolute focus on nuanced refinement and subtlety, Helmut Lang created subversively elegant and abstract garments that combined the classic with the avant-garde. A signature piece from a landmark collection in his career, this dress is a truly rare find. Despite being over twenty years old, it impresses in its contemporary relevance and unexpected splendor. Strongly reccomended.

*A fire in Zamasport S.p.A.'s factory in 1994 resulted in the nonproduction of most pieces from the A/W 1994 collection. After this unfortunate event, GIBO' Co. S.p.A took on the role of manufacturing and distributing the majority of Lang's designs.

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