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1998 Merino Wool Cape with Bondage Straps

Helmut Lang

1998 Merino Wool Cape with Bondage Straps

£360.00

One size (unisex): 180 cm x 100 cm.

Helmut Lang bondage knit cape from A/W 1998-1999. In brand new condition without tags. 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. 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.

In our view, this unusual cape was one of the season's most distinctive designs, and acts as a testament to Lang's visionary appropriation of everyday inspirations to create striking showpieces. It is an exceptionally rare find and nothing like it was designed for any other Helmut Lang collection before or after it. Although this was shown on the women's runway presentation, it is undoubtedly a unisex item.

The piece is crafted from luxuriously soft pure merino wool in a chunky military rib stitch (commonly seen in Helmut Lang's sweaters from this period). The knit has a large rectangular shape, with Lang's iconic bondage carrying straps positioned slightly off-centre, allowing for the cape to be carried like a backpack. The pale camel colour of the knit and its precise pattern create a nonchalantly elegant look which represents Lang's subversive minimalism at its finest. In addition to the luxurious material which is soft and warm, the knit is executed to a very high standard. Its fully-fashioned construction results in the absence of seams, subtly complementing the precise aesthetic. The carrying straps are crafted from narrower strips of the same material as the body, and have been hand-sewn for a clean appearance.  

A fantastic runway piece from one of Lang's most iconic 1990's collections, this cape is a beautiful and versatile accessory that can be used for a variety of occasions. In addition, it is in perfect unworn condition, making this a one-of-a-kind opportunity.


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