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1996 Moleskin Cotton Donkey Jacket

Helmut Lang

1996 Moleskin Cotton Donkey Jacket


IT 46 - 36 chest - S: Can also fit a slim IT 48 - 38 chest - S/M.

Helmut Lang donkey jacket from S/S 1996. In vintage used condition with natural fading and minor signs of wear. Made in Italy.

The mid-1990s were a seminal phase of Helmut Lang's work. It was during this period that the novelty-hungry press described Lang's work as 'minimalist'. Lang's designs were visually resolute, refined and uncluttered. They represented a new approach to dressing, where luxury was achieved through effortless sophistication and an emphasis on luxurious fabrics and elegant cuts. Most Helmut Lang mens' outerwear from this period appropriated workwear and military styles, and this classic piece is no exception. Its design is based on mid-1940s donkey jackets, worn primarily by postmen in the United Kingdom. While maintaining many of the original's heritage features, a dose of sharp modernity is achieved through the jacket's timeless proportions and Lang's refined aesthetic.

First of all, the cut of this piece is incredibly ahead of its time with defined shoulders, high armholes, a fitted body and a tapered waist. The shell is made from spring-weight moleskin cotton. One of Lang's signature outerwear materials, this fabric has a dense twill weave with a sheared surface. This results in a fabric that is hard-wearing yet exceptionally soft and ages wonderfully. In this instance, natural fading has given the jacket beautiful texture variations. The fabric has aged exceptionally well, and gives subtle character to the streamlined design. 

The jacket has a five button closure with two pockets on the waist. The neck has a military stand-up collar with a decorative tab, while the shoulders are adorned with rectangular patches. Unlike traditional donkey jackets, the patches are realised in the same fabric. The cuffs are finished with buttoned tabs. The interior is fully lined in beautiful gold sateen. Its luscious texture and striking appearance give an effortlessly luxurious feel to the piece. The lining has pleats at the back to optimize arm movement and features a single buttoned pocket. The buttons are constructed from subtly textured resin in a faded orange hue.

Helmut Lang has been venerated for his work's timeless appeal, and this extremely rare jacket is a handsome case in point. Although it was designed almost twenty years ago, its refined aesthetic and well-proportioned cut make it just as relevant as when it was first showcased.

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