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1996 Vintage Denim Classic 2-Pocket Jacket with Rubber Stripes

Helmut Lang

1996 Vintage Denim Classic 2-Pocket Jacket with Rubber Stripes


IT 50 - 40 Chest - M: Can also fit an IT 48 - 38 Chest - S/M.

Helmut Lang denim jacket from A/W 1996-1997. In very good used condition with natural fading. Made in Italy.

A/W 1996-1997 was a very important season for Helmut Lang. The collection combined a sleek military-inspired aesthetic with distinctive rubberized details and Lang's signature cut-outs. While being a critical and commercial success in itself, it also showcased a small capsule collection of denim garments labelled 'Helmut Lang Jeans'. This small range was the first chapter of Lang's extremely successful jeans line, which was introduced in full for S/S 1997. Since then, Lang has been recognized as a major force in the transformation of jeans to covetable, highly conceptual fashion items. This denim jacket features the collection's signature rubberised stripes, which were an instant success at the time of its release. A different version of this piece was worn by Raf Simons in his S/S 2013 runway presentation for Dior. 

Unlike the majority of Lang's denim jackets from later seasons, the cut is rather fitted with dropped shoulders and a tapered waist. Subtle details give a sharp minimalist update to its classic design: The chest pockets have a sharp rectangular shape with exposed stitching, while the collar is trim and shirt-like. The waist tabs are reversed and placed further towards the front for a subtly aggressive look. Most interestingly, the lower back features three wide rubberized stripes in a faded black colour that make a strong yet refined statement. The fabric is a robust vintage blue denim with naturally beautiful fades and pronounced texture variations that can only be produced through years of wear.

The finishing of this piece exhibits Lang's typical attention to detail. The buttons are realised in eye-catching matte bronze metal and feature a Helmut Lang Jeans engraving. This custom Italian-made hardware was an exclusive to A/W 1996, and all later versions featured silver nickel buttons. The interior features an oversize patch pocket made from black denim that is large enough to carry a textbook. All seams feature precise flat-fell finishing that protects them from undesirable fraying, while their precise execution creates sharp geometrical lines. 

This extremely hard to find jacket encapsulates the timeless avant-garde appeal of the Helmut Lang label. Much more than just a 'classic with a twist', it is a piece of modern fashion history that could easily belong to a contemporary art museum. 

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