The specter of the world’s woes weighs heavy on the fashion industry, as evidenced by the undercurrent of anxieties in recent runway previews. From the plight of Gaza to the Ukrainian conflict, the U.S. immigration crisis, and the ever-pressing concerns of racial and gender inequality, climate change, and the disquieting shifts in our environment, it’s enough to leave one yearning for escape, to seek solace in seclusion.
Yet, amidst this backdrop of anxieties, Peter Do’s second Helmut Lang collection offers not an escape from reality, but rather a sartorial response to it. It’s a collection imbued with a central theme: protection. And within this theme, Do skillfully weaves a fascinating duality – protection intertwined with sex appeal, control juxtaposed with chaos.
This exquisite collection, more self-assured than its predecessor, stands as a testament to Do’s growth as creative director. The streamlined runway presentation, the absence of distracting embellishments, and the focus on a “tough new uniform” solidify Do’s creative vision.
Do’s resolute nature shines through in his response to initial critiques. He views his Spring 2024 collection as an evolution of his Spring 2023 efforts, stating, “The last show was a reset…all of those blocks for spring became these.” He acknowledges the challenges of capturing the unique spirit of Helmut Lang, the bygone “in-crowd” atmosphere, yet he perseveres, meticulously crafting his “apex” story of tailored pieces.
Do’s Helmut Lang Fall 2024 collection meditates on the idea of “protection and Projection,” how these two forces can coexist. The shearling aviator’s oversized, chingunterferingcollar offers both warmth and a commanding presence, while the “mid-layer garment,” modeled after a ballistic safeguard, embodies pure confidence.