It’s been less than a year since Peter Do took the helm at Helmut Lang, redefining the brand with a new take on New York-inspired workwear and nods to the brand’s archives. For his sophomore season of fall 2024, the designer continued that narrative, expanding on street-ready basics with quirky effects and separates designed to live in the real world, worn by real people.
For the occasion, the Williamsburg Savings Bank in Brooklyn was draped in a cascade of white netting as guests took their seats on neatly organized white benches. Do expounded upon last season’s concept of New Yorkers’ lives—but this time, with a more specific eye. “I was thinking about protection for the next winter in New York,” he said backstage after the show. “New York is so bipolar; [we need] protection from all the elements, people, environment—and we need emotional support.”
The collection centered everyday basics and staples—but redone in luxe, chic materials, like jackets and draped gowns made of fabric developed with hole-punch techniques to mimic construction tarps. Or bright orange cargo pants and matching jackets, which not-so-subtly referenced the traffic cones on New York City sidewalks. Voluminous zippered bomber coats extended past the neck and over the back of the head. And for print lovers, there were white-checked patterns that were surprising to see in a Peter Do-designed collection, but satisfying nonetheless.
Taking inspiration from the Helmut Lang archives was once again at the core of fall 2024. “There are many, many, many techniques that came from the archive,” Do said. “Helmut Lang lives between this tension of chaos versus control. And embracing that duality is where I’m at.”
The collection was designed to be broken up and worn as individual pieces, much like Do’s debut work at Helmut Lang and his own namesake portfolio. “I want to give people as many options as possible so then you can wear your clothes more, and you find new ways to wear your clothes,” he said. A sweater that expands three sizes—inspired by the idea of a suitcase or zippered outerwear—allows the wearer to “adjust the level of drama you need for that day,” Do added.
The casting was incredible when it came to age diversity, but the show lacked size-diverse models. “I just want to see a lot of people come in different ages, colors, race, and whoever embodies the looks,” Do said when asked about the casting post-show. “I want to see the street represented, basically.”