1998 Vintage Sanded Broken Denim Painter Jeans (Medium Wash, Size 26)
Size 26: Best for a 26" waist. Inseam length: 28,25".
Helmut Lang blue jeans with painted details from S/S 1998. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.
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. And of course, few garments are more representative of denim than the classic 5-pocket blue jeans. Their archetypal design was a strong source of inspiration for the designer, who transformed classic denim staples to highly conceptual garments. In turn, his jeans were not only praised for their sophisticated fabrications but also for their distinctive and precisely-fitting silhouette. Renown NY fashion buyer Gene Pressman stated in 2006:
'Lang has mastered the old-fashioned fit of just being tight and narrow. The [fabrics] are worn in the way I like them. [...] And if Helmut Lang goes out of business? Look for vintage Helmut Lang jeans.'
Lang's iconic 'Painter Jean' was introduced for S/S 1998 and is certainly one of his most celebrated denim creations. Besides dominating the runway show (pictured), the jeans were worn by actress Nicolette Krebitz on the cover of New Order's 2001 album 'Get Ready', directed by Peter Saville and photographed by Juergen Teller. Nearly two decades after their release, they have become one of Lang's most coveted garments.
The jeans' detailing is inspired by Levi's 1947 501XX model, featuring a traditional five-pocket design reinforced with metal rivets. The fabric is heavyweight denim that has been washed, stained, sanded and heavily distressed, resulting in a medium wash with a pronounced vintage patina. The coloured splashes found throughout the piece (the hallmark of the 'painter' model) have been screen printed using thick white, black and beige ink. The hems have been cut off by a previous owner, resulting in a frayed look that is very much in line with the aesthetic of the piece.
The jeans have Lang's 'Italian' cut which consists of a medium rise, fitted seat, fitted thigh and a tapered leg. This is the slimmer silhouette offered by the designer. Like all Helmut Lang denim, the finishing is of a very high standard. The hardware has an antique silver finish and is engraved with the Helmut Lang logo, while the interior is flawlessly constructed with mainly flat fell seams that ensure the jeans will be worn for years without fraying.
One of the most coveted designs from Lang's work in the late '90s, these hard-to-find jeans capture the unconventional and sophisticated aesthetic that has become synonymous with the Helmut Lang Jeans range. Classic and simultaneously modern, they are a well-built wardrobe staple that will only improve with age.