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1997 Merino Wool Military Sweater with Slashed Sleeves

Helmut Lang

1997 Merino Wool Military Sweater with Slashed Sleeves


Size M: Best for an IT 48 - 38 Chest - S/M or a slim IT 50 - 40 Chest - M.

Helmut Lang deconstructed military sweater from A/W 1997-1998. In excellent used condition. 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.'

Military-style ribbed knitwear has been a prominent feature of several Helmut Lang collections throughout his career (pictured: A/W 98), while the 'slashed' sleeve construction is one of his most iconic touches. For this sweater the designer brought these elements together to create a truly gorgeous garment that is quintessentially Lang. What is more interesting, however, is that this piece is from Lang's menswear range. Possibly due to the lack of demand at the time, slashed garments were produced almost exclusively for women and the chances of finding them in bigger men's sizes are rather thin.

We are thus rather excited to present this sweater in a Men's size M, crafted from luxurious merino wool in a pale cream shade. The refined design has a slim silhouette with a medium crew neck, narrow shoulders and elongated sleeves, producing a razor-sharp silhouetteThe neckline, waist and cuffs have no added ribbing for a streamlined look; likewise, the outer elbow 'slashes' have a fully-fashioned construction without seams, with a raised horizontal line artfully defining each section. Subtle stitch variations around the neck and armhole borders add simple points of interest while demonstrating the designer's attention to detail. 

A truly iconic garment, this rare sweater exemplifies Lang's ability to bestow couture sophistication to the most basic garments. With its clean details and precise silhouette, it will make a sophisticated statement which is just as relevant today as when this piece was first showcased.

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