By Bella Omar
Asst. Arts & Features Editor
New York Fashion Week (NYFW) has just come to an end, kicking off fashion month as arguably the most influential location of the four primary capitals - New York, London, Milan, and Paris.
While the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) official calendar for NYFW this year was noticeably slimmer than past seasons, the week still hosted several auspicious newcomers to the fashion world.
Peter Do, a Vietnamese-born and Brooklyn-based designer, while by no means new to the world of fashion and especially impeccable tailoring, made a stunning debut as Helmut Lang’s new creative director this fashion week on Sept. 8 to showcase the brand’s Spring Summer 2024 collection.
Peter Do, having studied at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and under the likes of Phoebe Philo and Derek Lam in addition to winning the prestigious Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) Prize for Young Fashion Designers competition is known for his namesake brand that dresses stars such as Zendaya and Beyoncé.
Helmut Lang, one of the most subversive influences of the fashion world for the past quarter-century, has a rich brand identity, full of elevated T-shirts, lean silhouettes and bondage references scattered throughout collections.
Peter Do has pointed to Lang as one of his prominent creative inspirations throughout his career, making him that much more fitting for his new role.
With several thoughtful references to Lang’s history throughout an impressive collection of 47 looks while ushering in fresh takes on brand classics, Peter Do has succeeded at filling this coveted role.
The first five looks of the show featured black or white suit ensembles, naturally tailored to every model’s body. This introduced the detail of pink satin ribbon being wrapped around various limbs and tracing the seams of pant legs and suit jackets, referencing Lang’s infatuation with incorporating bondage pieces into his looks.
The pink ribbon then evolves into larger lengths of fabric being incorporated into oversized vests, sweaters, sweater dresses, and boleros - all of which are intentionally androgynous in likeness to the rest of the collection.
Every model also walked down the runway in a variation of a black leather boot, primarily knee-height. The blazers worn featured dramatic, sharp shoulders, most of which were paired with hip-hugging lower waist trousers, which were also made in denim and leather variations.
Yellow ribbon and fabrics replaced the pink later in the show, detailing suits and sweaters in a similar way.
This coincided with the introduction of a yellow taxi-cab print, paying homage to Lang’s initially jarring marketing method of advertising on top of New York City taxi cabs. This print found its way into several fabrications, such as full matching sets, and a particularly trendy pleated midi skirt.
Several otherwise solid white tees, tanks, and backward blouses were adorned with poetry in black lettering on both the front and reverse sides of the items, from the Jenny Holzer installation displayed in the first Helmut Lang store on Greene Street. Quotes included, “This is how I carry us / For in your skin I have placed my trust.”
Revealing his cognizance of relevant trends, waist-wide leather belts, camel-colored coats, and excessive draping were also seen throughout the show. All of the non-neutral colors that were introduced in the beginning came together in the last few and most colorful looks as draped lengths of fabric and ribbon were incorporated into fitted dresses, trousers, and blouses, marking the end of the show.