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1997 Velvet Denim-Style Coat with Sateen Binding Details

Helmut Lang

1997 Velvet Denim-Style Coat with Sateen Binding Details


IT 44: Best for an IT 44 - 34 Chest - XS, a slim IT 46 - 36 Chest - S or a Women's UK 12 - US 10

Helmut Lang velvet coat with bound trims from A/W 1997-1998. In brand new condition with tags. 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. 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.'

This beautiful coat is an adaptation of Helmut Lang's classic denim jacket, transformed into a striking showpiece that stands somewhere between refined evening wear and avant-garde streetwear. The body has been elongated to reach the thighs while the cuffs feature the designer's iconic 'turn-up' design that was one of his signature details in the mid 1990s. Sateen binding delineates the waist seam and cuffs' top edges, creating a beautiful decorative element that lends an unexpected elegance to the design. The cut is streamlined and unisex with fitted shoulders, a straight body and elongated sleeves. The fabric is a thick cotton velvet with a soft drape and smooth hand.

The detailing of this piece is subtle and precise, reflecting the workwear-inspired aesthetic embraced by Lang in the 1990s. The front has a concealed button closure with a narrow placket that finishes in a sharp point collar. In addition to the two square-shaped pockets on the chest, there are two large waist pockets. All buttons are realised in tonal resin, quietly complementing the minimalist design. The interior is fully lined in smooth soft viscose sateen that makes the piece a pleasure to wear. It is also worth noting that the concealed button placket and turn-up sections of the sleeves are also separately lined.

In our view, this piece is one of the finest examples of Helmut Lang's quietly avant-garde output in the late 1990s. Its simple design makes every detail count, in a way that very few fashion designers have been able to master. At the same time its influential aesthetic is more stylistically relevant than ever, as seen on this year's runways and high street trends. Strongly recommended.

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