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2004 Egyptian Cotton Reverse 'Tom of England' T-Shirt

Helmut Lang

2004 Egyptian Cotton Reverse 'Tom of England' T-Shirt


Size XS: Best for an IT 46 - 36 Chest - S or an IT 44 - 34 Chest - XS.

Helmut Lang 'Tom of England' T-shirt from S/S 2004. In excellent used condition. Made in Italy.

In her 2011 feature on Helmut Lang's work, Susannah Frankel writes:

'More than anything else, [...] Lang’s clothing is just as relevant today as it always has been. This is extremely unusual, and to say, therefore, that the designer was ahead of his time would be something of an understatement.'

S/S 2004 is one of Helmut Lang's most famous seasons and many of its captivating designs are now part of modern fashion history. One of the collection's strongest themes was the' 'iridescent color' and 'lightness of structure' of dragonflies. Lang's typical sharp silhouettes were intensified by abstracted shapes, elastic straps, cut-outs and unexpected splashes of reflective materials.

This T-shirt is another wonderful example of Lang's quietly subversive approach, where classic forms meet avant-garde experimentation to create truly timeless designs. The piece features a peculiar 'Tom of England' print on the front and back. Unfortunately we have been unable to retrieve any information about its meaning, other than a brief mention by Charlie Porter. British electronic musician Thomas Bullock releases music by this alias since the early 2010s, however this is certainly coincidental; the phrase is most likely an homage to Tom of Finland, the renown illustrator of homoerotic fetish art. 

Like the collection's iconic 'Cowboy' tops, the decoration is printed using the S/S 2004 collection's signature technique, where the design is applied on the interior side of the fabric. This results in a reverse appearance with a slightly faded finish. In this simple yet evocative way, a basic garment is transformed into a refined runway piece. The piece is crafted from luxurious Egyptian cotton jersey with a lightweight texture and considerable stretch. The fabric's light mercerized treatment produces a faint luster. Furthermore, its high quality results in a very pleasant feel, while allowing it to maintain its softness for longer. The cut is narrow and elongated, while the crew neckline is finished with ribbed trim.

Streamlined yet groundbreaking, this iconic T-shirt will make a bold statement in a variety of outfits. In our view, Helmut Lang's reverse-printed T-shirts are some of his most iconic basics and definitely worth the attention of serious collectors.

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