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2003 Fine Cotton Slim Shirt with Asymmetric Knit Sleeve

Helmut Lang

2003 Fine Cotton Slim Shirt with Asymmetric Knit Sleeve


39 Chest/15,5 Neck: Best for an IT 48 - 38 Chest - S/M or a large IT 46 - 36 Chest - S.

Helmut Lang shirt with removable sleeve from S/S 2003. Sample in excellent used condition. Made in Italy.

In our view, S/S 2003 was one of the most sophisticated collections in Helmut Lang's career. Drawing inspiration from a diverse variety of sources ranging from 1990s clubwear, Seditionaries-style layering and technical surfing gear to traditional tailoring, he created a complex yet aesthetically harmonious world where radical deconstruction met luxe modernity. Many of the details that defined Lang's clubwear-cum-couture collections from the mid-1990s were present, highlighting his emphasis on long-term refinement rather than seasonal novelty. Unfortunately many of the collection's directional designs (including this piece) were only produced as showroom samples.

One of S/S 2003's most distinctive details was the use of knit and leather to create gauntlet-like sleeves that were attached on tops and outerwear. The narrow shape of the sleeve attachments made them wrap closely around the arms of the models, radically disrupting the form of the piece worn underneath while creating a bold asymmetrical look. In this piece, the sleeve is constructed from soft cotton piqué that pleasantly complements the high quality fine cotton fabric of the shirt. The lower edge of the sleeve finishes right above the cuff for a beautiful layered effect. The attachment secures to the left sleeve with a single button, and can easily be removed for a more classic look. The cut is fairly slim with defined shoulders and slightly elongated proportions. 

Beyond the directional styling, the construction and finishing of the piece are exquisite like all Helmut Lang shirts. The design is workwear-inspired, featuring a rectangular patch pocket on the chest and adjustable barrel cuffs. The point collar is sharp and chunky, while the back features sharp side pleats. The sleeves have Lang's classic two-piece construction, which enhances the shirt's structured look. The chest pocket's edges are reinforced with triangular stitching. The cuffs have a curvilinear shape with two pleats and invisible openings. All buttons are realised in genuine mother of pearl in a tonal off-white colour. On the interior, all seams have flat fell finishing that prevents them from undesirable fraying. 

A quintessential Helmut Lang design that combines luxurious finishing with the designer's quietly avant-garde aesthetic, this shirt is a truly standout piece. Strongly recommended. 

The knit sleeve attachment was also styled with the Techno Mesh Sweater on the runway.

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