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1998 Vintage Sanded Broken Denim 3 Slit Pocket Jacket

Helmut Lang

1998 Vintage Sanded Broken Denim 3 Slit Pocket Jacket

£280.00

Size IT 40: Best for a Women's UK 10/US 6, a UK 8/US 4 or a slim IT 44 - 34 Chest - XS.

Helmut Lang distressed blue denim jacket from S/S 1998. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.

'It’s not trashy and loud. That’s not our thing. But it’s often very ornate – just not old ornate.'
-Helmut Lang

In 1996, Helmut Lang was offered the job of head designer at Balenciaga. 'It’s about America. It’s not about couture', he famously stated after rejecting the maison's proposal. Indeed, Lang had an enduring fascination with American workwear and particularly its most iconic identifier, denim. Jean jackets were a strong source of inspiration for the Austrian designer, who created countless designs citing their distinctive workwear heritage. In turn, fashion critics have widely acknowledged that his innovative approach was catalytic in the transformation of classic jeans to covetable high fashion items.

Introduced in 1997, the 'Slit Pocket' design is one of Helmut Lang's boldest reinterpretations of mid-century denim jackets. With Levi's 557XX jacket as the starting point, Lang has reduced the number of panels on the torso and added a horizontal panel on the waist. The chest pockets have been reduced to precise slits, finished with militaristic rectangular storage stitching. The result is understated yet highly unconventional. A small change pocket placed discreetly along the waist panel's seam adds an asymmetric and utilitarian point of interest that is quintessential Lang. A distinctive point collar completes the design.

The piece is crafted from heavyweight denim that has been washed and sanded extensively to achieve a dark indigo colour with intense variations and whiskers that replicate the effects of prolonged wear. The aggressively artificial appearance of the fabric offsets -or, perhaps, contradicts- the resolute modernity of the design. The fabric has substantial weight, giving structure to the clean shape. The silhouette is timelessly sharp with a semi-fitted straight body and high armholes that give definition to the shoulders. 

The construction of this piece is excellent and hard-wearing like all Helmut Lang denim garments. Precise lines and absolute symmetry highlight the designer's attention-to-detail, while honouring the design's traditional workwear origins. The buttoned cuffs are finished with pleats, while the lower waist panel is double-layered for a stronger shape. The hardware has an antique silver finish and is engraved with the Helmut Lang logo. On the inside, flat-fell seams protect the interior from undesirable fraying while making the jacket reversible and indestructible. Furthermore, selected details such as the buttonholes are sewn with black instead of orange thread to achieve a cleaner look.

A highly unconventional design, this piece is a fantastic demonstration of Helmut Lang's transgressive streetwear creations from the 1990s. Its striking fabric and directional details will make a bold, timelessly avant-garde statement. Strongly recommended.

The modelled product photos are property of FarFetch.


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