Peter Do Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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Peter Do named his new collection Áo Dài and dedicated it to his late grandmother. An áo dài is a traditional Vietnamese uniform consisting of a long straight-cut tunic worn over a pair of matching elastic waist pants, usually in silk; it’s an outfit he remembers her wearing when he was a young child. At the presentation he held in a gallery on Rue de Richelieu in place of the show he staged last season, a mannequin wore a version of the look in white velvet dévoré, its pattern modeled on one of his own abstract paintings. Do paints when he’s stressed, he said.

So he’s painting a lot these days? He laughed at the question, but the day-to-day nurturing of an emerging brand while simultaneously trying to revive a heritage one (he’s also the creative director of Helmut Lang) is no joke. Add that fact to the tender feelings he has for his late grandma, and maybe that’s why he was focused on ease and drape, after working to establish his tailoring signatures for so long.

The black-and-white abstract print pantsuit inspired by the same painting as the velvet dévoré, for instance, was softened by the matching wrap skirt tied loosely at the hips, and he cut his signature oversized blazer jacket in both padded black satin (like bed clothes you can wear outside) and a gray knit (for a cozy sweater feeling). There was also a cool Japanese black raw denim suit that with time and wear would take on the lived-in uniform qualities of an áo dài.

Otherwise Do focused on his modular dressing ideas. He’s made versatility a selling point of his clothes since the beginning. Here that meant everything from lining the sleeves of the jacket in his “Suture” suit with functional buttons should, say, a woman want to flex her biceps and her power in a board meeting, to a silk twill lining fabric minidress sold with a waistcoat-slash-apron dress that can be worn two ways: with the buttoned vest in front, or with the v-neck back in front. In the gallery, small tablets played videos that demonstrated the pieces’ multifunctionality.

After the press preview, Do said he planned to open the gallery to the public and walk people through. It’s a unique gesture in Paris where crowds in the thousands line the police barricades outside other shows, propping up the mega brands with their online content (and ear piercing screams) but not being invited inside. “Right now I’m not trying to make PD the next billion dollar brand,” he said. “Because of my new challenge at Helmut, I want to protect this. I want it to feel even more personal and special to me, where I feel maybe not financially, but creatively free.”

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