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1997 Slim Jeans with Destroyed Silk Chiffon Layers

Helmut Lang

1997 Slim Jeans with Destroyed Silk Chiffon Layers


Size 28 (unmarked): Best for a 28" or 27" waist.

Helmut Lang jeans with destroyed sheer silk layers from A/W 1997-1998. In good used condition with natural distressing. 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.'

This pair of jeans is a wonderful demonstration of Lang's conceptual approach, where classic craftsmanship meets contemporary experimentation. The classic 5-pocket design has a slim elongated silhouette and a narrow straight leg. The fabric is Lang's classic medium-weight denim in a bright red/crimson hue. Sheer silk chiffon panels are attached by hand on the front, creating an intriguing layered look. The silk layer is fine and lightweight, designed to fade and fray in accordance to the wearer's movements. In this pair,  wear can mainly be found on the fly and right leg. The result is a strikingly modern design that subversively combines subcultural and couture inspirations.

The unique design is complemented by polished silver hardware that has been precisely engraved with the Helmut Lang logo. The front fly closes with five large tack buttons. The interior is flawlessly finished as to be expected, with flat fell seams that ensure the jeans will be worn for years without fraying. The pick-stitching that attaches the sheer overlay along the outer leg seam is visible when the hems are rolled up. 

One of the most intriguing garments created for the short-lived Helmut Lang Jeans label, this unisex piece is a bold testament to the designer's influential and forward-looking vision. 

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