1997 Cotton Jersey Rugby Shirt with Rubberised Slashed Sleeves
Size M (unmarked): Best for a Women's UK 8/US 6 or a UK 10/US 8.
Helmut Lang slashed sleeve top from S/S 1997. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.
S/S 1997 marks the large scale introduction of Helmut Lang's iconic 'Jeans' label after a smaller capsule collection for A/W 1996. This partnership between Lang and Italian manufacturers GTR Group (Gruppo Tessile Riunito) was highly conducive to the brand's commercial success in the late 1990s. Several pieces from the S/S 1997 Jeans collection were adaptations of iconic archival pieces from the Helmut Lang mainline, realized in hard-wearing materials such as canvas, nylon and resinated cotton.
This rugby top features Lang's iconic slashed sleeves, accentuated by rubber applications. This design was originally showcased on the A/W 1993 runway and re-issued every season that followed in different fabrics and finishes (pictured: A/W 1995, S/S 1996 and A/W 1996). Similar cut-outs were also featured in Lang's coveted A/W 2003 and S/S 2004 collections.
The top is made from a medium-weight cotton jersey with a soft texture and some stretch. The cut is sharp and modern with narrow shoulders and a fitted body. The neck has a strong-shaped point collar, complete with a four mother-of-pearl button closure. The masculine formality of the neckline is offset by the intricately constructed sleeves, featuring Lang's iconic elbow slashes. The sleeves' three-quarter length adds a modernist touch, while their semi-detached lower part is covered by structured rubber. Similar to the finishes of traditional waterproof outerwear, the rubberised details have a deep luster with interesting irregularities that suggest the process was applied by hand.
Overall, Helmut Lang's basic pieces often capture the designer's forward-thinking vision at its best. This bold top would look great worn on its own or layered over a contrasting colour to highlight its sophisticated construction.