Helmut Lang Spring Summer 2024 “Reawakening Elegance”. Story by RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: Helmut Lang.
In the heart of New York, where fashion’s finest gather to witness the ever-evolving tapestry of style, the Helmut Lang Spring Summer 2024 collection graced the runway today, serving as a potent reminder of fashion’s ability to bridge the gap between generations. Two Septembers ago, Peter Do took his first steps onto the runway, and today, he stands as a torchbearer for one of the most iconic designers of our time – Helmut Lang.
Lang, a luminary who left an indelible mark on the industry when he walked away from his label in 2005 at the zenith of his career, redefined subversive elegance. His unique talent lay in elevating everyday staples – T-shirts, jeans, and army parkas – into high fashion masterpieces, while seamlessly incorporating bondage elements into his sleek suiting. It’s a style that continues to exude a resolute modernity, transcending the passage of time.
In the world of fashion, Helmut Lang is a designer’s designer, a source of inspiration for luminaries like Raf Simons and Phoebe Philo. Peter Do, too, acknowledges Lang as one of his heroes, a muse that he discovered through Tumblr as a teenager in suburban Philadelphia.
Over the years, the Helmut Lang brand has gone through various incarnations, including a notable one-off collection by Shayne Oliver for spring 2018. However, recent collections seemed to have lost their distinct point of view. Peter Do’s appointment as the new creative force behind the brand promises to reinvigorate its identity.
Do approached his role with meticulous attention to detail, diving into the brand’s history. The iconic yellow taxi cab print that graced multiple fabrications paid homage to Lang’s groundbreaking move of advertising on taxi cabs, a move once considered too ordinary for high fashion. This print also provided a thematic backdrop for Ocean Vuong’s poetic contribution, displayed on the venue’s concrete floor. It evoked memories of the Jenny Holzer installation that once graced the original Helmut Lang store on Greene Street. These poetic words also adorned the reverse side of button-down shirts, making a statement as models walked by, saying, “Your car was my first room / Our clothes on the floor like stepped-on flowers.”
Do masterfully revived Lang’s tailoring legacy. The flat-front natural waist trousers, the androgynous yet refined jackets, and the crombie coats all spoke to Lang’s signature style. The choice of fabrics added a tactile dimension, resonating with those who had the privilege of previewing the collection in the showroom. The seat belt straps crisscrossing the torso and threading through belt loops were a direct nod to Lang’s archive, an exploration of the underground world of bondage clubs. Yet, with a simple removal, the suits seamlessly transitioned into the realm of everyday elegance.
The true potential of the new Helmut Lang lies in the fusion of high-fashion sensibilities with accessible pricing. Peter Do’s deep admiration for his designer hero shines through in this collection. It’s a tribute that pays homage to the past while forging a path towards a new era of Helmut Lang. As the fashion world eagerly awaits the arrival of these high-fashion suits at reasonable prices, it’s clear that the legacy of Helmut Lang is in capable hands, poised to captivate both the starry-eyed and the discerning connoisseurs of style.