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1997 Vintage Bleached Denim Spiral Seam Skirt

Helmut Lang

1997 Vintage Bleached Denim Spiral Seam Skirt


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

Helmut Lang minimalist denim skirt from S/S 1997. In excellent used condition. 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. Furthermore, S/S 1997 marks the large scale introduction of Helmut Lang's iconic 'Jeans' label. This partnership between Lang and Italian manufacturers GTR Group (Gruppo Tessile Riunito) was highly conducive to the brand's commercial success in the late 1990s.

Sitting somewhere between classic and avant-garde, this fantastic skirt is a beautiful example of Helmut Lang Jeans' transgressive appeal. The streamlined design consists of a simple front and back, shaped by four carefully positioned darts. A diagonal seam starting on the side beautifully disrupts the clean look, creating an avant-garde point of interest that is quintessential Lang. Similar details can be seen in earlier designs. The skirt's simple shape is given substance by the heavyweight denim fabric which has been washed, sanded, bleached and distressed to achieve a spectacular vintage effect and an iconic yellow tint, with the denim's original blue colour showing occasionally. The weight of the fabric gives structure to the piece and complements its clean lines. The same design is available in brown cotton here.

While the skirt has a very simple construction, a close inspection of its finishing reveals considerable attention to detail. A concealed zipper placed discreetly along the left side seam allows for comfortable access, while the waistband secures with a hook-and-eye closure that has been entirely hand-sewn. Finally, the edge of the zipper has been bound with cotton tape to protect the wearer's skin.

In our view, the beauty of this piece lies in its ambiguity. Its vintage denim fabric contrasts greatly with the sophisticated construction and finishing, resulting in a garment that is simultaneously casual and sophisticated like much of Helmut Lang's work. Strongly recommended.

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