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1999 Vintage Waffle Knit 'Limited Edition New York 99' Ensemble

Helmut Lang

1999 Vintage Waffle Knit 'Limited Edition New York 99' Ensemble


Size XS (oversized): Best for any size between a Women's UK 14/US 10 and a UK 8/US 4. Can also be worn by men sized IT 44 - 34 Chest - XS.
The skirt is size IT 38 that will fit any size between a 26" and a 30" waist.

Helmut Lang limited edition print T-shirt with matching sport skirt from S/S 1999. Made in Italy.

For S/S 1999, Helmut Lang Jeans launched a limited edition of reissues of celebrated designs from past HL collections. The selection ranged from stripe-decorated basics and jackets to slash-sleeved tops and other classics. This unusual two-piece ensemble was created to commemorate the launch and consists of a T-shirt and a matching sport skirt. Needless to say, the rarity of this set is exceptional. The T-shirt is decorated with a distinctive print that states:

NEW YORK              99
    5 17 - 21'

The text is rendered in a condensed bold font, while the numbers are in Helvetica. While the text is satisfyingly self-explanatory (a rather unusual feature for a Helmut Lang print), the meaning of the numbers remains unclear. In my view they are most likely alluding to the date the T-shirt became available in 1999. The iconic and ambiguous design has been screenprinted by hand using thick rubber ink that gives it a pronounced texture. Lang's bold approach to text-based graphics, as seen in this top, has been very influential as seen in this Acne sweatshirt.

The T-shirt has an oversized silhouette with dropped shoulders and a waist-length body, featuring side seams that spiral towards the left to enhance the top's drape when it is worn. Two different cotton fabrics have been used to construct the piece; the front panel is a cushioned waffle knit, while the back and sleeve panels are crafted from a basketball-style jersey with a dense drop-stitch pattern. Both fabrics are soft, stretchy and have been washed to achieve a vintage finish. The crew neckline is finished with ribbed trim.

The skirt is semi-fitted, with a stretchy waistband that allows for it to accommodate a variety of waist sizes. Like the T-shirt, its construction is slightly asymmetric with side seams that spiral towards the left and the length is intended to reach slightly above the knee. The fabric is the waffle knit that has been used for the top's front panel.

An unlikely find even for the most diligent Helmut Lang collectors, this ensemble is a strong example of Lang's iconic no-so-basic basics from a very distinctive moment in the history of contemporary fashion. 

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