Helmut Lang Spring Summer 2024 - New York Fashion Week

Helmut Lang Spring/Summer 2024 – New York Fashion Week

September 9, 2023

The fashion world buzzes with anticipation as Peter Do takes the reins of the iconic Helmut Lang brand, injecting fresh energy into the Spring/Summer 2024 collection. Lang, who left his label in 2005 at the peak of his career, revolutionized fashion with his subversive elegance and modern, non-retro aesthetic. Fast Retailing’s acquisition of the brand led to various iterations and a slight loss of direction. However, Do’s appointment heralds a new era, with a vision that pays homage to Lang’s legacy while opening up a dialogue for a broader audience.

Helmut Lang’s influence in the fashion industry is undeniable. From Raf Simons to Phoebe Philo, many designers have drawn inspiration from his work, which remains resolutely modern despite the passing decades. Peter Do, a self-proclaimed super-fan of Lang, is no exception. Although he discovered Lang through Tumblr as a teenager in suburban Philadelphia, his admiration deepened during his time at Céline under Philo.

In a recent episode of Vogue’s The Run-Through podcast, Do shared his philosophy: “The thing that I react really strongly to is work that almost looks like it’s always been there. I felt like good design is a design that feels like it’s always been there.” This approach is evident in his Spring/Summer 2024 collection for Helmut Lang. He meticulously referenced Lang’s archive, incorporating elements like the yellow taxi cab print – a nod to Lang’s groundbreaking taxi cab advertisements – and seat belt straps that echo the underground bondage club scene.

Collaborating with author Ocean Vuong, Do also integrated poetry into the collection, reminiscent of the Jenny Holzer installation at the original Helmut Lang store on 80 Greene Street. Vuong’s poem, printed on the venue’s concrete floor and the backs of reversed button-downs, added a layer of depth and emotion to the collection.

Moreover, Do demonstrated a keen understanding of Lang’s tailoring-flat-front natural waist trousers, almost-but-not-quite plain jackets, and crombie coats – all crafted in fabrications that felt good to the touch at a showroom preview. The collection also featured archive-inspired seat belt straps that crisscrossed the torso and passed through belt loops. While these details referenced the underground world of bondage clubs, removing them allowed the suits to transition seamlessly into the straight world.

The new Helmut Lang collection aims to offer high fashion suits at reasonable, less-than-high fashion prices – a move that Do believes will widen the brand’s appeal and ensure the clothes’ longevity. He revealed that he wouldn’t have accepted the position if the prices were the same as his own label, showcasing a strategic differentiation between the two brands he now oversees.

Peter Do’s appointment as the creative director of Helmut Lang signals a promising future for the brand. His Spring/Summer 2024 collection pays tribute to Lang’s legacy while thoughtfully modernizing the designs for a broader audience. By incorporating poetry, referencing iconic elements from the archives, and focusing on reasonably priced high fashion suits, Do demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the brand’s history and a clear vision for its future. While starry-eyed about his designer hero, Do remains grounded about the business, indicating a bright and sustainable future for Helmut Lang.

Read more: Peter Do Fall/Winter 2023

©Photo: Helmut Lang