1999 Vintage Beige Corduroy Painter Jeans (Size 31)
Size 31: Best for a 31" or 32" waist. Inseam length: 31".
Helmut Lang vintage corduroy jeans with painted details from A/W 1999-2000. In excellent used condition with minor signs of wear. 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. This rare corduroy version is crafted from medium-weight camel corduroy that has been washed and sanded to achieve a vintage effect with deliberate wear and minor colour variations. This is certainly one of the rarest iterations of the 'Painter' model. The coloured splashes found throughout the piece have been screen printed using thick white and grey ink.
The jeans have Lang's 'Bootcut' shape which has the medium rise, fitted seat and fitted thigh seen on the 'Classic' cut, but with a regular straight leg. Like all Helmut Lang denim, the finishing is of a very high standard. The fly closes with a zipper instead of buttons to protect the soft fabric. 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.
To conclude, painter jeans are one of Lang's most popular designs, and this unusual rendition of the design in corduroy takes the concept to an unexpected direction. Classic and simultaneously modern, they are a well-built wardrobe staple that will only improve with age.