Amid the daily chaos, there’s something comforting about having a system of dressing that’s modular, minimalist and sexy. That’s Peter Do’s vision for Helmut Lang, and it’s starting to gel beautifully.
For his pre-fall 2024 release, he shot short videos of models in each one of his looks in motion on the streets of different neighborhoods in New York City, from Chinatown to DUMBO, Industry City to Columbia Heights — eating a hot dog, using the ATM, doing the walk of shame, perhaps.
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“All the images are moving because I want to show people multiple ways of wearing the clothes…and we’re leading with New York to set the attitude for Helmut Lang,” the designer said, explaining that the videos, featuring the same “Lang Gang” from his inaugural runway show, will be released on social media with the locations spotlighted.
He continued to evolve his foundations for the Fast Retailing-owned brand — remixed tailoring, utility pieces, the oversized white shirt (now with a hood, so a “shoodie”), the skinny black pant and blazer with a back strap so it can be worn as a backpack when it gets too hot.
Blocky suiting (a military trench cut short in a heavyweight linen, a wide-spread collar shirt, double-pleated pants ) looked great, as did a group of nylon pieces that could easily be a modern uniform, including a tonal khaki colored look consisting of pants that can transition to shorts, a shirt, blazer and trench.
Layering and versatility were through lines — a sheer white T with elbow pad details layered over a tank, a brown dress with a fluttering white hem (actually a lining that can be worn separately) and a knit shrug sleeve (inspired by the archives) that can be twinned with a sleeveless sweater or worn over anything really.
He carried the raw denim forward from the last collection (crisp jeans with inside-out pockets, and slouchier hand-painted styles made in L.A.), and offered several takes on evening wear, from a white liquid jersey cowl gown to a ribbed chunky black sweater worn with a liquid jersey side-slit maxiskirt. Meanwhile, a pair of tailored black cummerbund pants, worn with a button-down, had ’90s retro appeal.
Do’s first collection, which he showed back in September, hits stores in February/March, with a relaunch of the Helmut Lang website and activations planned with retail partners such as Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.
And he’s set to open New York Fashion Week again with his fall 2024 runway show on Feb. 9.
While the first collection received mixed reviews, at least from critics, Do has been able to take it in stride, he said. “I think that’s part of the job now. So whether I like it or not, I feel like it’s gonna come…At the end of the day, I care about the product and I care about the team and I care about the legacy. It’s going to take time for people to understand and to rebuild a brand from the ground up. Helmut is such an important brand for a lot of people, and I get that, I have brands for me that I’m like, don’t touch it. So I understand but I’m trying to speak to a new generation of people who may not have heard of Helmut Lang before who are interested in the story I’m trying to tell now.”
Launch Gallery: Helmut Lang Pre-Fall 2024
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