Without a doubt, one of the most anticipated moments of this edition of NYFW was the Vietnamese designer Peter Do’s debut as the new Creative Director for the beloved and iconic Helmut Lang. After building an instantly recognisable aesthetic in his namesake brand and taking his name little by little and collection by collection into the higher ranks of the industry, Do was set to bring a new life to a house in need of fresh and creative air. Luckily for the masses that have already been waiting for this moment since May, when the announcement raised a flag of hope in the ever-more confusing fashion panorama, his show was the first in the long calendar, and so with a debut, New York Fashion Week began.

Helmut Lang

As connected to his roots as ever, Peter merged himself with the brand, took codes and languages from both, some of which precisely and accordingly overlapped, and wrote the first chapter of this new journey. This literary metaphor comes in handy, as poetry was one of the prominent details that helped build up the collection, both in a formal and symbolic way. Extracts from fellow Vietnamese author Ocean Vuong’s poem adorned not only the runway floor but also some of the garments: black bold letters over white fabrics, a tone scheme as Do and Lang as it can get. The general gist of the collection evolves around New York City and its always on-the-move spirit, from the teaser video where the main star is one of the iconic yellow cabs that refers back to the way Helmut used to advertise his shows on the top of these vehicles to the runway’s big finale, where all the models paths converge in a messy but somehow organised way in what easily reminds us of one of the big apple’s busy streets.
Without taking that big of a risk but successfully referencing the work of Lang in various ways, from the vibrant colour strikes amidst the predominant monochromatic garments, the perfectly tailored suits in a savoir-faire already part of Do’s identity as designer, and some silhouettes such as the layered t-shirts where we can pinpoint exactly what Helmut collection he had on the moodboards when coming up with it, this first collection seemed like the appetiser more than the main course. Some people expected to find the most revolutionary collection ever made, but as an avid fan myself, it’s easily understandable that his work is part of a process of evolution where constructing solid pillars to support the weight of what’s yet to come can somehow be more productive than starting to build from the ceiling.
Photos: Courtesy of Helmut Lang
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Collina Strada

There’s always something to say about Collina Strada shows. The commentaries can range from ‘why are there anthropomorphic individuals on the runways?’ to ‘wow, that’s what an actual diverse cast looks like!’ This season was not the exception, and the commentary behind the strikingly disturbing show images makes our curiosity about what’s behind this collection worthy.
At first glance, what obviously captured the audience’s and the internet’s attention is the almost diabolical smiles of the models that walk the show, completely dead in the eyes, but with a smile from ear to ear and clenching their fist as that Arthur meme, the sarcastic and satirical tone of this artistic decision can already be inferred without needing to be an expert at reading emotions. The soundtrack was the last hint if we were yet not sure about the meaning behind this show, “Why are we here? The earth’s on fire.” The earth’s in fact on fire, but we are talking about fashion. How fake can our smiles get?
The garments dressing these struggling humans were as confusing as their expressions. Hillary Taymour’s work is not the most orthodox, and we are aware of that, but this time it felt like random pieces were styled together. Not saying it was good or bad, it was just…? Well, of course, this was not an accident. What we saw on the runway involved the participation of a very fist-clench-fake-smile provoker element for many of us: Artificial Intelligence
Taymour fed her entire previous collections to one of these and had it come up with an entire new collection based on the information received, a result that, of course, had to be refined and perfected by the very human team. The result is unexpected layering, drapings in all sorts of ways, colour and pattern combinations that are not supposed to work but somehow in these universes work, and a mixture of styles and aesthetics that prevent us from boxing the collection for a particular setting or vibe as it is so a league on its own that you could never tell do or not wear this at the function.
Photos: Paolo Lanzi / Gorunway.com
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From something so futuristic as Artificial Intelligence to the most primitive notion we could ever think of, the birth of human race. For this season, Area explores how, in the beginning of times, animal parts were really all that existed for us humans—elements in which the survival and evolution of our species were fundamental. From the meat to the fur to even the bones, if we think for a moment about it, for better or for worse, our civilization still relies on some of these elements a little too much for comfort. Aesthetically speaking, animal prints and bone-shaped accessories, not to mention the shameful and predominant presence of fur in hundreds of collections, make the fashion world one of the most inspired by our first years.
Piotrek Panszczyk took these elements and passed them through the Area filter, resulting in a collection as extravagant but purposeful as usual. What probably is the most interesting part of it, aside from the already iconic crystal embellishments present in many of the garments or the extra-big bone pieces integrated with the dresses, one of which could already be seen on the VMA’s red carpet worn by Saweetie, were the faux fur pieces. This faux fur is, surprise, not even fur. In what seems to be the perfect answer to the never-ending concern about the use of animal fur in fashion, Panszczyk proposes an alternative where a hyperrealistic print mixed with the structure and padding of coats constructed to resemble the fur coats that can be found in our grandmothers’ closets comes to life in a way more animal-friendly style. The internet was confused at first and surprised at second. There is, after all, hope for an improvement in the damaging practices the fashion world has been carrying on for decades.
Photos: Courtesy of Area
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Bad Binch Tongtong

As he made clear for us in our recent interview prior to the release of his recent collection, Terrence Zhou’s work is a translation of enigmatic messages from a higher realm into reality. The scenery for this season’s portrayal was the highly imponent Tribeca Synagogue, a space that is not only somehow attached to this otherworldly symbolic aura Zhou’s work is justified in, but whose fluid and massive interior and architecture seem very in touch with the designer’s very own aesthetic.
As always, focusing a lot on the performance aspect of the show, where the garments come to life in a set where the audience itself is invited to make part of the experience, a series of alien-like creatures walk through the aisles and dance on the stage, choreographed in a hypnotic cadence that, along with the intricate shapes of the looks, converge in what is one of the most interesting stagings of this fashion week.
Terrence always goes big. His dramatic shapes in more colourful and vibrant fabrics than in previous collections let us know that functionality is not his main concern when designing and that what’s most important for him is giving us a piece of his mind, one that always wonders about life, and that, as he shares in one of his most recent Instagram posts, doesn’t want to know everything; just remember who he is.

Sandy Liang

In what is probably one of the most ‘durable’ microtrends (by durable, I mean some months more than your average TikTok trend), balletcore is here to stay, apparently. As long as brands such as Sandy Liang exist, bows, pink, and taffeta will prevail. This aesthetic has been thriving among the girls, even more so in an era where the concepts of girl math, girl dinner, and girl coded are already part of our daily vocabulary. It seems like dressing delicately in soft fabrics, pastel colours, and cute details is no longer linked to a weak or damsel-in-distress kind of vibe and is slowly but surely becoming the norm of new daily life attire, where upgrading a simple white t-shirt with a nice red satin bow seems to suddenly make our lives better and worth living.
Sandy Liang has understood the power of this aesthetic from the very beginning, and with each collection, it seems like the creator and the recipients are more and more in tune with each other; she’s giving the girls what the girls want. In a series of looks that easily flow between business casual, afternoon picnic, and night out, this feminine aesthetic is presented in various degrees that allow the user to go as far in as they find comfortable. Just want to adorn your minimalistic look with a tiny flower on your hair? You got it. Feeling confident enough to work a giant flower across your dress? Sandy has done it as well. It seems as if this balletcore term can transition from being a mere microtrend to a more serious category because, as long as we have Sandy Liang, girls will be girls.
Photos: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
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Elena Velez
In contrast, (or maybe more in complement?) to the previous designer’s work, Elena Velez comes to the spotlight as raw and dirty as usual, although this time, dirtier than ever. Following a series of online misfortunes in which her straightforwardness when addressing and calling out what the real fashion world is about for the non-nepo social class took a turn when announcing she was not going to pay her models this season and that the currency this time rather than money would be exposure, all eyes were on her, some sceptical, some avid of new material from one of the most interesting names in fashion. Well, one could say that the promised exposure was definitely of some value, as videos and pictures of her show were instantly flooding the internet as soon as the show was over.
In what can be called a mud pit that could trigger the attendees of this year’s Burning Man, which ended up looking pretty much like a magnified version of Velez venue, models strutted and then fought. The strut part is not new; our minds can easily go back to Balenciaga a couple of seasons ago, but the fight part was something. Some liked it, some hated it, but it definitely was something. Before turning into a mess, the garments presented gave us a view of womanhood through Elena’s lenses. According to her, the show was an interpretation of society’s control over feminine expression and behavioural modelling, an act against the sanitisation of what it is to be a woman. The garments were draped, cinched, deconstructed, torn, and layered, all with the Velez’s touch. You could put these outfits in a perfectly sanitised room, and they would still speak for themselves. As much as balletcore resonates with a portion of the girls, mudcore (?) speaks to the others. As read in one of the comments under her latest posts, “I’m just a mere normal peasant, but I want to be an Elena Velez ancient swamp sorceress,” and honestly, same.
Photos: Isidore Montag / Gorunway.com
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Raul Lopez is one of the reasons why New York Fashion Week is regaining its charm. Luar is constructing a certain type of style that seems very in tune and aligned with what the life of a 21st-century person looks like. He’s presenting the new uniform for today, but giving it the fashion and slay that modern humans crave. This collection was all that and more. Following his style and finding support in his roots, in fifty looks he explores all sorts of pattern techniques and silhouettes that are quite the exhibit of his expertise and attention to detail. In a very office-friendly colour palette and with a strong focus on materials and fabrics, most of them justified in various elements referring to his Dominican origin, Lopez explores a much more sophisticated and purist side of himself, but not pushing out the always extra Luar.
Tailoring heaven for many, the collection featured very intelligently constructed blazers that apparently extend until the lower part of the body in the opposite version of what shorts look like, and that would ultimately be much more appreciated if back pictures of each look were available. Shoulder-padded shirts and t-shirts paired with very different bottoms that range from tiny underwear to perfectly fitted pants and long skirts and dresses that wrapped perfectly around the body, the balance between outwear and underwear was there, with very well-styled lingerie elements (peaking sometimes and well exposed in others) stockings and briefs with the brand’s metallic logo. Even softer, more comfortable fabrics are included in some sweatshirt-inspired looks, including the twist of connecting through said fabric, the sunglasses, and the upper pieces. Luar is at its peak.
Photos: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com
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