2001 Slim T-Shirt with Laced Cut-Outs
Size S: Best for a Women's UK 6/US 4 or a UK 8/US 6.
Helmut Lang cut-out top from S/S 2001. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.
Helmut Lang has often been praised for his 'deconstructive' designs. With basic forms as the starting point, Lang created subversively elegant and abstract garments that combined the classic with the avant-garde. This experimentation was amply demonstrated in S/S 2001, where the designer explored ways of revealing parts of the body. Cut-outs and thin laces decorated tops, trousers and outerwear, while dresses featured straps and perforations that created a subtle yet sensual effect. The result was about the clothes as much as it was about the wearer's body which becomes a component of the design itself. It was a quintessential Helmut Lang collection that combined his cerebral conceptualism with a new sense of raw-yet-refined sexiness.
This top exhibits Lang's deconstruction beautifully. Parts of the top are reduced to their structural 'skeletons': the shoulder and sleeve cap areas are removed, with a single string supporting the neckline. The body features bondage-inspired laced cut-outs across the sides that expose the wearer's skin. The cut is form-fitting and contoured, closely following the lines of the body. The directional design is finished with a wide crew neck and slim sleeves, producing a sharp figure that is quintessential Lang. The fabric is a brushed cotton jersey in a beautiful black iris hue with a soft texture and some stretch.
The amount of detailing to be found on this top is a testament to Lang's design vision and makes this a truly special piece. The quality of its construction is on par with its avant-garde design: The body is constructed from multiple curved panels while the sleeves have twisted seams (reminiscent of basics by Rick Owens from a decade later). Parts of the top are double-layered to maintain the structural integrity of its intricate panelling. Every seam is perfectly executed and although this is a basic piece, its quality and intricate construction really set it apart from common luxury garments.
Overall, this top features the idiosyncratic aesthetic that has made Helmut Lang's avant-garde work so timeless and iconic. Helmut Lang's work in the early 2000s produced some of the most groundbreaking and profound fashion of the decade, and his clothes are just as relevant today as they were when they were designed. This rare piece captures the essence of a very specific moment in time that is now revered and venerated; in our opinion, it belongs in someone's personal wardrobe as much as it belongs to the collection of a contemporary art museum.