Lutz Huelle’s starting point for fall was a men’s wardrobe classic, the three-piece suit. He played with its features, his collection unfolding from one piece to the next. Aiming to combine a sense of opulence with something “slightly absurd” while usurping a familiar staple was not such a straightforward exercise, but Huelle skillfully deployed contrasting details, making them seem like a natural fit.
The shirts to accompany the classic tailoring were worked in pleated poplin or classic cotton with blue and white stripes, with pleated, slightly ballooning sleeves. They informed a series of dresses, or were transformed through the addition of a contrasting pink taffeta ruffle collar (itself inspired by details from his previous collection) that poked out irreverently from beneath his jackets. Said sleeves became the arms of a long black sweatshirt, turning another basic into something cool for a night on the town.
The much-maligned waistcoat was unrecognizably transformed; a simple square of check fabric, with cutouts for the arms, became an appealing sleeveless belted coat. The way it fell then informed outsized bomber jackets with wide shawl collars, one with front panels that summed up Huelle’s distinctive way of mixing his metaphors. A further hybrid came by way of a dramatic cape-like coat in lightweight weather-proof fabric that would work equally well for a night at the opera or a walk in the rain.
Huelle was feeling uncomfortable about presenting a collection in the current context. Earlier in the day, he posted a story on Instagram with a series of hand-written messages. “Feeling slightly ill at ease to be presenting a collection tonight,” read the first. “So before I do, I just wanted to say the following,” he continued. “Please stop this war! And protect Ukraine and its people!” The final sheet of paper featured two hearts, one blue, one yellow.
In the collection, one of Huelle’s message sweatshirts — renewed each season — took on a new meaning that had not been originally intended, its embroidered text, “Imagine,” recalling the lyrics of John Lennon’s message about world peace.