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1997 Black Velvet Denim-Style Jacket with Silk Waist Panel

Helmut Lang

1997 Black Velvet Denim-Style Jacket with Silk Waist Panel


IT 42: Best for a Women's UK 10 - US 8 or a slim UK 12 - US 10

Helmut Lang velvet jacket with chiffon overlay from A/W 1997-1998. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.

For A/W 1997 -the first winter collection of his year-old Helmut Lang Jeans label-, Lang took the denim-based explorations of S/S 1997 to new heights of sophistication. While the runway show focused on the clean lines of Lang's tailoring, it is the streetwear that is now considered as some of his most covetable output: This collection introduces the iconic bulletproof vest, Lang's renown take on the M-51 military parka and several groundbreaking fabric treatments for denim. The iconic linear decorations seen on the S/S '97 show were present throughout the range, however this time they were realised in fine silk besides rubber. Amy Spindler writes:

'Helmut Lang's instincts have defined the 1990's, so all the designers who have been copying him for so long should take a close look at the way he staged his show this season. Instead of a flashy presentation, there was a modest workroom created in an uncrowded gallery. [...] Mr. Lang presented a quiet storm, taking ideas from past seasons and infusing them with elegance and sophistication. [...] But there was nothing conventionally pretty about it; it was a new notion of beauty and taste. [...] Tulle wound around forearms, fell like capes in the back from shoulders, or wound over even the simplest men's T-shirts. One crinkled pair of pants was made from layers of sheer fabric.'

Based on mid-century workwear, this piece stands out as one of the most refined designs to be ever created as part of the Helmut Lang Jeans range. Instead of denim the designer has opted for a luxuriously thick cotton velvet with a soft drape and smooth hand. The streamlined design has two rectangular flap pockets on the chest and a button closure that leads up to a classic point collar. A wide panel crafted from coated silk organza decorates the waistline; its crinkly texture and translucent surface are juxtaposed with the deep black velvet to create beautiful plays with texture and light. The jacket has a trim and contemporary silhouette with narrow shoulders and a fitted body. This piece is also available in burgundy

Subtle yet interesting details add depth the elegant piece. The Helmut Lang-engraved metal buttons are realised in nickel with a matte silver finish that contrasts strikingly with the deep black velvet fabric. The cuffs are constructed with buttoned tabs and feature military-style pleats. Overall, the strong geometrical lines of the jacket's construction give it an architectural precision that is often seen in Lang's designs from this period. The interior is fully lined in deep black viscose sateen that feels pleasant against the skin. 

Overall, this is a quintessential Helmut Lang jacket from one of our favourite collections. Its beautiful design combines Lang's streetwear sensibilities with avant-garde sophistication, resulting in a visionary piece that has stood the test of time. Strongly recommended.

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