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Helmut Lang initiated the autumn-winter 2024 New York Fashion Week marathon on Friday, February 9. The fashion artist unveiled a collection that offers “protection” with distinctly urban flair. 

The Helmut Lang’s autumn-winter 2024 New York Fashion Week kicked off with an innovative use of bubble wrap fabric, balaclavas and puff jackets, reflecting a design philosophy rooted in urban readiness. “In living in New York, a myriad of events can transpire in a single day. I aim to provide a tool that prepares you for whatever may unfold,” American-Vietnamese designer Peter Do remarked following the show. As a prominent couturier who also helms his own label, Peter Do has been entrusted with the task of redefining the cool chic and minimalist aesthetic that Helmut Lang, the brand’s Austrian founder, popularized in the 1990s and 2000s before his departure. Today, the brand is under the aegis of the Japanese conglomerate Fast Retailing, which also owns Uniqlo.

Photo Credit: Kena Betancur / AFP

Staged under the dome of a former grand bank in the trendy Williamsburg district of Brooklyn, Peter Do revisited some of his predecessor’s innovations. Notably, a fabric resembling bubble wrap, crafted from silk and available in white, black or orange, has been adapted into trousers, jackets and bomber jackets. Oversized wool coats, quilted jackets, high collars, hoods and balaclavas underscore the collection’s theme of “protection and projection,” with some designs drawing inspiration from astronaut attire. The color palette prominently features the bright, almost fluorescent orange of firefighter suits. “I want the streets to be represented,” Do added.

With a schedule packed with at least a dozen shows daily until Wednesday, February 14, the American metropolis kickstarts the sequence of autumn-winter 2024 ready-to-wear fashion weeks, preceding London, Milan, and the much-anticipated Paris. Helmut Lang’s significant influence in the late 1990s was such that the calendar was adjusted when he opted to move from Paris to New York, positioning the American city at the forefront of the fashion week sequence.

This season anticipates the participation of several American ready-to-wear heavyweights and esteemed designers, including Tommy Hilfiger on Friday evening, followed by Michael Kors, Thom Browne and Tory Burch. Carolina Herrera and Gabriela Hearst are also slated to present their collections. Paris-based designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin, known for his sensuous and gender-fluid fashion, will make a notable detour to New York with a show scheduled for Sunday evening, February 11.

With AFP.