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1996 Cotton Mesh Classic Tailor-Made Shirt

Helmut Lang

1996 Cotton Mesh Classic Tailor-Made Shirt


Size IT 48: Best for an IT 48 - 38 Chest - S/M or a slim IT 50 - 40 Chest - MCan also be worn oversize by women sized between UK 14/US 10 and UK 10/US 6.

Helmut Lang transparent mesh shirt from S/S 1996. In very good used condition with minor signs of wear on back. Made in Italy.

'There is nothing more clean and classic than a white shirt. It has a twisted elegance that is very seductive.'
- Helmut Lang in Vogue USA, March 1998

S/S 1996 was an aesthetic breakthrough for Helmut Lang and a critical success. Followers of the label remember it for its use of sportswear and lingerie elements, as well as for being the first collection featuring Lang's iconic printed stripe detailing. Effortless silhouettes dominated the show, primarily consisting of simple straight dresses, shirts and tanks tops. Inexpensive synthetic lace, delicate transparent overlays and contrasting splashes of red created an intimate and deeply nuanced narrative that was certainly a bold step forward for Lang. Although the novelty-hungry press described Lang's work as 'minimalist', it turned out to be a much more complex affair.

Channeling the collection's purist approach, this shirt has been constructed like Lang's classic shirts, however the fabric is a striking cotton mesh with a square grid pattern. Lightweight yet structured, the unconventional material has a see-through appearance that works well with the shirt worn on its own or layered over a contrasting-coloured top. The cut is Lang's classic shape which maintained the ease of a full cut shirt without additional bulk, resulting in an archetypal masculine look that is precise and timeless. Elements such as the high armholes and narrow sleeve cap lend a certain sharpness to the shape and make for a very flattering silhouette (pictured: S/S 95, S/S 98, S/S 99).

The finishing of the piece is certainly worth an inspection: Inspired by mid-century workwear, ample attention has been devoted to every detail to create a beautiful garment, tailor made to an exceptional standard. The mother-of-pearl button closure leads up to a point collar with a strong yet subtle shape, while a reinforced rectangular patch pocket decorates the chest. The sleeves have a sharp two-piece construction, enhancing the shirt's structured look. The chunky barrel cuffs are adjustable and finished with two precise pleats. Likewise, the upper back features side pleats for increased comfort of movement. All interior seams have flat fell finishing that prevents them from undesirable fraying, thereby ensuring the longevity of the shirt.

Shirting was always among the Helmut Lang's most successful interseasonal offerings, and pieces like this make it easy to understand why. Expertly crafted in a beautiful fabric, it is a striking piece that will make a bold and refined statement.

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