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1997 Fine Jersey Spiral Seam Dress with Bondage Straps

Helmut Lang

1997 Fine Jersey Spiral Seam Dress with Bondage Straps

£330.00

IT 38: Best for any size between Women's UK 6/US 4 and a slim UK 10/US 8.

Helmut Lang strapped cotton dress from S/S 1997. In brand new condition without tags. Made in Italy.

Helmut Lang's S/S 1997 collection was a tremendous success that further solidified his status as the quiet avant-garde spirit of his generation. Focusing on the refinement of his personal vision rather than seasonal novelty, Lang showed his characteristic mix of clubwear-inspired separates, sharp suiting and sophisticated eveningwear. Subtle decorative applications brought forth an element of unforeseen abstraction: Solid rubber stripes and satin sashes in bold colours evoked graphic modernity; deconstructed elements and abbreviated shapes were wrapped around the models' bodies, confusing and enticing the viewer; nylon trims gave a sport-inspired urgency to sober fitted lines. Lang's characteristic jersey dresses were restricted by straps, while silk trims in unexpected places redefined conventional luxury. 

S/S 1997 is the first season where Helmut Lang used straps to contain and highlight parts of the body. Used numerous times since then, these elastic tape trims have become one of the most iconic details in contemporary fashion and an instantly recognisable feature of Lang's bondage-inspired work. In the instance of this dress, thin tape traverses the body to form diagonal lines that disrupt the simple silhouette of the piece while giving prominence the wearer's body. A similar piece can be seen in the FIT Museum's permanent collection (pictured).

Needless to say this dress was one of the collection's most notable pieces, and was the focal point of several runway looks. Its minimalist shape is akin to an elongated tank top: While looking simple at first glance, it quickly becomes evident that its pattern is extremely complicated, featuring diagonal seams that spiral upwards around the body and finish as a dart on the right side of the chest. Small metal D-rings placed along the vertical side seams secure the elastic straps to the body. The piece is crafted from an extrafine cotton jersey with a mercerised treatment. Cut on the bias, the luxurious fabric has a deep colour and a sateen-like surface. Furthermore, its high thread count results in a pleasantly smooth texture while ensuring that it will maintain its softness and colour for longer.

Helmut Lang created subversively elegant and abstract garments that combined the classic with the avant-garde. This is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a real highlight from one of Lang's seminal collections in unworn condition. Strongly recommended.


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