1998 Heavy Moleskin Cotton Slim Trousers with Elastic Straps
IT 46 (adjustable): Best for a 30" or 31" waist.
Helmut Lang bondage trousers from A/W 1998-1999. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy. RRP: $445 (£289)
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. The main source of inspiration was contemporary military uniforms, which had been a recurrent theme in Lang's menswear since the decade's beginnings. Still, unlike previous seasons where the appropriation of military designs was straightforward and clear-cut, A/W 1998-1999 showcased a variety of unique garments whose aesthetic, detailing and execution are characteristically Lang.
This pair of classic workwear trousers is particularly interesting as one of the earliest examples of Helmut Lang's iconic elastic strap detailing, which was featured extensively in his 2003 and 2004 collections. The cut is slim and tapered, with an articulated leg construction that follows the lines of the body. Contrasting horizontal elastic straps can be positioned on the front or back of the knee. The aggressive shape is complemented by the thick moleskin cotton fabric that gives them an armor-like structure. One of Lang's signature outerwear materials, this substantial fabric has a dense twill weave with a sheared surface. This results in a fabric that is warm and hard-wearing while maintaining an exceptionally soft texture that ages wonderfully over time.
The finishing of the trousers is exceptional, with a beautiful construction and a high level of attention to detail. The waist features Helmut Lang's signature strap adjusters with polished silver hardware. The front pocket slits are made from the same panel as the waistband and front leg, in line with the workwear-inspired aesthetic. The fly closes with five large buttons and an interior anchor button that prevents uneven stretching. The interior is finished with bound seams and the pockets are lined in a grey textured cotton fabric. The waist features multiple straps for hanging and Lang's iconic square change pocket. The crotch area features additional protective lining.
These trousers are quintessential Helmut Lang in their idiosyncratic and inimitable aesthetic. With a modern fit, a robust construction and refined detailing, they are ideal for everyday wear.