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1997 Structured Raw Denim Spiral Seam Skirt with Pockets

Helmut Lang

1997 Structured Raw Denim Spiral Seam Skirt with Pockets


Size IT 40: Best for a 27" or 28" waist.

Helmut Lang minimalist skirt with storage compartments from A/W 1997-1998. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.

For the Helmut Lang Jeans A/W 1997 collection (the first winter season of the year-old line), Lang took the denim-centred explorations of S/S 1997 to new heights of sophistication. While the runway presentation focused on soft translucent layers and the clean lines of his mainline tailoring, the Jeans line's sportswear is now considered to be some of Lang's most covetable output. As part of this range Lang introduces the iconic 'bulletproof' vest, his renown take on the M-51 military parka and several groundbreaking shapes and fabric treatments for denim.

Sitting somewhere between classic and avant-garde, the spiral seam skirt is one of Lang's most recurrent womenswear pieces from the mid-90s and appeared in several collections (pictured: A/W 1997 and S/S 1995). Its streamlined silhouette is counterbalanced by its intricately panelled construction: A diagonal seam starts on the upper left side and traverses diagonally across the back, disrupting the right side and spiralling to the bottom edge of the front. The waist is shaped by four carefully positioned darts.

This A/W 1997 version is finished with an additional layer of fabric on the front, featuring vertical seams that form three large pockets. Similarly abstract militaristic detailing can be seen throughout the collection. The pockets are spacious enough to fit the contents of a small bag and create an unexpectedly decorative point of interest. The piece is crafted from heavyweight raw denim in a desaturated indigo hue. The fabric is strong and structured, giving the skirt a sculptural shape.

While the skirt's aesthetic is rather streamlined, subtle flourishes in its construction showcase a level of craftsmanship that is rarely seen today. The fabric has been cut on the bias to increase its stretch, thus making the skirt more comfortable to wear. The hemline has been turned up, showing off the denim fabric's contrasting white weft side. To achieve a cleaner look on the turn-up without visible overlock seams (that have been used throughout the interior), the left side seam has been precisely reversed near the hem. This is a detail that is much more likely to be found in couture garments rather than a denim skirt, and truly demonstrates Lang's attention to detail at its most inventive. A concealed zipper placed discreetly along the left side seam allows for comfortable access, while the waistband secures with a hand-sewn hook-and-eye closure. 

To conclude, this skirt is a signature Helmut Lang piece that captures the designer's eclectic and unconventional take on casual womenswear. While its shape is effortless and easy to wear, its distinctive detailing and couture sensibilities lend it a level of effortless sophistication that is rarely seen in contemporary fashion.

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