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Peter Do’s guid on being a New Yorker: Protection VS. Projection

It is the 9th of February, and the city that never sleeps awaits the latest proposals from American designers, unveiled beneath the dome of a former bank in the hip neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Helmut Lang’s latest collection was presented. As part of the 2024 New York Fashion Week calendar, Peter Do has reflected on the future of the brand through a collection that takes inspiration from the past, while attending to the necessities of modern-days newyorkers.

Helmut Lang, the quintessentially cool brand in the 90s, became relevant through the subversive sexiness that characterized its clothes. Lang was to t-shirts and jeans what Burberry is to trench coats, which made him particularly relevant in New York, a vivid, city that was always on the move and in need of fashionable staples.

Before Lang, New York was the last fashion capital to present in the fashion months. But when the Austrian designer changed its fashion show from Paris to New York and went out of the calendar, the industry followed, resulting in New York being the opener of the fashion season ever since.

But his relevance extended beyond the fashion calendar, he influenced the wardrobes of most men and women in Western countries during the 90s. Lang mastered and elevated the basics, converting jackets, tees, and cardigans into fashion statements. There was something about the way they were tailored that made them particularly flattering. Helmut Lang crafted a new view on glamour through the simplicity that rose in the nineties.

It is because of this visionary, counter-conceptual fashion that he reached the pinnacle of the industry. This status made it difficult for its back-then owners to find the right replacement for him when he stepped down as creative director in 2005. Helmut Lang is currently under the ownership of The Fast Retailing Group, the parent company of brands like Uniqlo or Comptoir des Cotonniers. The group appointed fashion prodigy Peter Do as creative director of the firm last May with the task of returning the brand to its former glory.

Peter Do graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology and won the LVMH Graduate Prize, Do assisted Phoebe Philo during her reign at Celine for two years, Whose influence can be perceived in the clear lines and simplicity in the treatment of the fabric.

Themed under the name «protection and projection” Do invited the attendees to reflect upon self, love, and the way wee project our individual visions of the world while oversized wool coats, quilted jackets, turtlenecks, hoods, balaclavas were reinforced as the center of the collection.

While Do ́s evocative take on ladies and menswear draws from the archive of the brand, he has distinguished himself, giving a different point of view “Helmut Lang lives between this tension of chaos versus control. And embracing that duality is where I’m at.” Stated the Vietnamese-American designer.

Reminiscences of Lang can be rescued in Peter Do’s take on the remarkably well-tailored suits and bring back memories from a non-fussed straightforwardness that made the brand popular in the first place. The 32-year-old designer also honors the color schemes of the city through this color-blocked collection where intense oranges act as a representation of the traffic cones on the city sidewalks.

Do wants to dress the people from New York, hence the voluptuous bomber jackets that would act as armor in a city where greed and wit go hand in hand. The models criss crossed each other on the runway like New Yorkers at a busy intersection while the city representation could also be appreciated in the models cast that varied in race, color, age, and looks.

The collection elevated everyday staples with luxurious materials resulting in an impactful
collection with utilitarian and minimalist basics whose accessories gave the final effortless
touch. Do’s collection is the chicest imagination of an even more fashionable New York
where Balaclavas are trendier than ever.

Words: @edugilhurta