1996 Heat-Printed Structured Nylon Military Button-Down Shirt
Size IT 48 (oversized): Best for an IT 48 - 38 Chest - S/M or an IT 50 - 40 Chest - M.
Helmut Lang heavy nylon shirt from A/W 1996-1997. In excellent used condition with minor signs of wear. Made in Italy.
Bringing together what seemed like disparate universes at the time, A/W 1996 was the first collection that combined Lang's modern visual language with elements appropriated from military and workwear garments. Following the aesthetic cue of the past few collections, Lang showed simple silhouettes in a palette of military green, black, brown and navy. Quilted nylons, moleskin cotton and canvas gave a utilitarian character to the tailored menswear, while beautifully sequinned dresses and fine floral knits with slashes created an unconventional elegance on the womenswear. Furthermore, a series of outerwear garments featuring Lang's iconic rubber stripe applications have since then become immortalised as one of the most iconic moments of 1990s fashion.
This rare and unusual shirt is constructed to the same high specifications as Lang's classic tailor-made shirts, however it looks and feels nothing like a typical shirt. The fabric is a compact nylon that has been heat-stamped with a diamond crosshatch pattern, similar in appearance to the non-skid patterns seen on metal flooring. The decoration is subtle and sophisticated, while the fabric has a structured drape and dull shine that complements the sharp silhouette of the piece. Furthermore, the reinforced flat fell seams used throughout produce slight tension on the soft fabric, creating a slightly gathered effect similar to the seams of classic MA-1 bomber jackets. 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. The sleeves are cut slightly longer, reflecting the more casual nature of this design.
Like all Helmut Lang shirts, the construction and finishing of this piece are excellent. The shoulders are decorated with epaulettes that have been sewn on to reduce their volume, producing a cleaner shoulder line. The gunmetal mother-of-pearl button closure leads up to a button-down point collar with a strong yet subtle shape, while the chest features a reinforced rectangular patch pocket. 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.
Found at an intersection between aggressive streetwear and traditionally crafted tailoring, this hard-to-find shirt epitomises the Austrian designer's paradigm-shifting approach. Worn under a suit or as a light jacket, it will definitely become a year-long favourite.