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1995 Transparent Plastic Sleeveless Top with Abstract Print

Helmut Lang

1995 Transparent Plastic Sleeveless Top with Abstract Print


Size IT 40: Best for any size between a Women's UK 6/ US 4 and a slim UK 10/US 8.

Helmut Lang transparent synthetic top from S/S 1995. In excellent used condition with minor signs of wear. Made in Italy.

Helmut Lang's S/S 1995 collection was a major success for the up-and-coming Austrian designer. Sharp silhouettes were realised in translucent and transparent textiles, citing 'Parisian chic, Hawaiian surf culture [and] the beat of techno' as inspiration. From US Vogue's January 1995 issue:  

'"What I find modern is the balanced use of both traditional fabrics and new textiles," says Helmut Lang, whose balancing act for spring involves mixing cotton, wool and leather with high-tech nylon, lacquered organza and synthetics designed to reflect light. Equally important: the simple shapes that take on a sophisticated glamour, thanks to Lang's futuristic fabrics. There are cigarette thin pants, jackets cut as close as shirts, skinny skirts, fitted T-shirts, and tank dresses. "It's the idea of combining well-known quality with new surfaces that makes them exciting," says the designer.' (our emphasis)

This rare top was undoubtedly one of the collection's most iconic designs, and was featured in numerous runway looks and magazine editorials. The piece is crafted from woven transparent plastic fibers (60% polyester/40% nylon) that have been printed with an abstract geometric decoration inspired by the colours of the American flag. The piece was slightly distressed upon being assembled, giving it a textured surface with minor colour irregularities. Furthermore, the fabric's transparent nature establishes the body of the wearer as an integral aspect of the design. The result is a bold garment that combines architectural precision with a deconstructed, punk-inspired charm

The piece has a simple two-piece cut with a form-fitting body and a wide neckline. Slits on each side of the neck subtly raise the shoulderline, making the neck stand away from the body to create a fantastic elegant shape. The hem has a pronounced shirt-like curve. Lang's signature engraved metal plaque adorns the right side of the chest. The interior is finished entirely with French seams that protect the fine fabric while reducing bulk.  

This exceptional find is a groundbreaking design from one of Helmut Lang's most iconic early collections, and acts as a beautiful demonstration of the designer's captivating take on contemporary dressing. Combining the casual elegance of sportswear with the refined experimentation of couture, it is an exemplary garment that belongs in an eclectic wardrobe as much as it could be part of a contemporary art collection.

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