1997 Reverse Raw Polypropylene Denim Jeans
Size 34 (runs small): Best for a 31" or 32" waist.
Helmut Lang polypropylene jeans from A/W 1997-1998. In brand new condition without tags. Made in Italy.
'It’s about America. It’s not about couture', Helmut Lang famously stated after rejecting Balenciaga's proposal to work as the maison's head designer. Lang had an enduring fascination with American workwear and particularly its most iconic identifier, denim. And of course, few garments are more representative of denim than the classic 5-pocket jeans. Their archetypal design was a strong source of inspiration for the designer, who transformed classic denim staples to sophisticated high fashion pieces. In turn, his jeans were not only praised for their sophisticated fabrications but also for their distinctive and precisely-fitting silhouette. Renown NY fashion buyer Gene Pressman stated in 2006:
'Lang has mastered the old-fashioned fit of just being tight and narrow. The [fabrics] are worn in the way I like them. [...] And if Helmut Lang goes out of business? Look for vintage Helmut Lang jeans.'
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. This rare pair of jeans is made a reversed raw denim fabric consisting of 33% polypropylene, a one-of-a-kind material that was developed exclusively for Lang and only available for one season. The unwashed fabric has an extremely structured drape (similar to 18oz rigid denim) and its lighter-coloured weft (reverse side) has a faint metallic luster. Over time, the substantial body of the fabric will soften and beautiful fades will emerge.
The jeans have a classic 5-pocket design with a slim silhouette. They have an extra-long narrow straight leg, intended for long turned-up cuffs: cuffing the legs beautifully reveals the fabric's dark indigo warp. Matte silver hardware engraved with the Helmut Lang logo adds a classic touch, while the interior is flawlessly finished with flat fell seams that ensure the jeans will be worn for years without fraying.
Overall, this hard-to-find pair of original Helmut Lang jeans demonstrates the sophistication and subtlety that became synonymous with his work in the 1990s. The possibility of finding a piece like this in unworn condition again is extremely limited.