1998 Hand-Finished T-Shirt with Elongated Cut-Out Sleeve
Size IT 38: Best for a Women's UK 8/US 4 or a UK 6/US 2.
Helmut Lang extended sleeve T-shirt with slashed detail from A/W 1998-1999. In excellent used condition with minor repair on front. Made in Italy.
1998 was a very important year for Helmut Lang. The company relocated its offices from Vienna to Manhattan, making it the first fashion house to change continent, while the runway presentations move from Paris to New York. Later that year, helmutlang.com was launched and A/W 1998-1999 was the first fashion collection to be presented online. Besides these influential firsts, A/W 1998-1999 is seen as one of Lang's seminal collections, showcasing the first major exploration of the abstract and layered streetwear that became synonymous with his late 90s output.
This extravagant top brings together Lang's affinity for functional design with a novel emphasis towards abstract expression. It was one of the collection's hallmark pieces, and was shown again on the S/S 1999 runway. The classic t-shirt has been extensively deconstructed; elastic piping and hand-gathered details around the neckline, shoulders and cuffs add subtle depth to the clean lines of the piece. Most interestingly, the right arm has been extended to reach below the knee. Instead of a regular cuff opening, a beautifully executed cut-out at the level of the elbow allows the arm to come out and move independently of the sleeve. Allegedly inspired by (or, perhaps, a formal reaction to) evening gloves, the cut-out produces a beautiful silhouette that lends an exaggerated elegance to even the slightest movement.
The piece has a fitted design with narrow shoulders and a short, slightly boxy body. It has been crafted from luxurious heavyweight cotton jersey with a mercerised treatment. The finely knit fabric has a deep colour and a slightly lustrous surface. Furthermore, its high thread count results in a pleasantly rich and smooth texture while ensuring that it will maintain its softness and colour for longer.
To conclude, this quintessential Helmut Lang design is in excellent condition and its rarity cannot be overstated. Although it was presented on a runway exactly twenty years ago, it remains as cutting-edge as the time when Lang's name was still being discovered by fashion cognoscenti across the world.