Luxe minimalism... Lacoste's Spring/Summer 2014 collection elevates sportswear with a sensuous injection of lightness and fluidity.
Lacoste celebrated its 80th anniversary with a Spring/Summer 2014 collection that embraced its à la française sportswear tradition and exuded effortless sophistication.
THE crisp autumn morning and the vibrance of the New York Fashion Week were the perfect backdrop for the unveiling of Lacoste’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection last September.
Towering wire cube structures in a bare runway set the stage for a collection formed by clean lines and geometric designs.
The inspiration for this season’s designs were the straight white lines of the tennis court, said Lacoste artistic director Felipe Oliveira Baptista. Incidentally, the US Open was playing a short subway ride away from the New York Fashion Week venue at Lincoln Centre.
“Lacoste is the incarnation of the sportswear “a la française”. Its clean timeless design and sense of chic always keeps it a relevant brand. Saying that, Lacoste has always been about innovation and keeping up with the lines,” said Baptista in an e-mail interview.
On the runway, models strutted out in lightweight outfits punctuated with lines in the form of thin piping, colour blocks and sheer panels. Tennis whites loomed large, but that came only at the end after a playful rendition of colours inspired by the terracotta of clay courts and the bright grass green of Wimbledon.
Lacoste stayed true to its luxe sports heritage with reworkings of its iconic polo tee, baseball jacket and tennis dress complete with a flirty skater skirt.
The appeal of Lacoste’s collection this season is in Baptista’s ability to be rooted in its old traditions and still fit in seamlessly with modern times. He says it’s about “keeping the ‘chic aristocrat’ Lacoste dimension, but making it fit into a more contemporary spirit.”
“One foot in haute couture but ideas constantly drawn from the street and the sport environment, I know how to bridge all the gaps. When I’m working for Lacoste I try to put all of this into a context relevant to our times,” elaborated Baptista, who darted on the runway for the quickest of bows at the end of the show before disappearing backstage.
The surprise element in this collection is how the Paris-based 39-year-old Portuguese designer served up sexy along with sporty.
Slouchy pyjama-like ensembles gave way to slinky knit dresses, starting with a midriff baring cropped top paired with a sleek pencil skirt and finally a backless halter dress which was described as “part polo part maxi”.
Baptista retained his androgynous touches, but the lightness and fluidity of his designs created the sensuousness of suggestiveness and movement.
He played with panels of transparency, with one model breezing down the runway in a navy blue mini dress with stripes of sheer panels exposing her stomach and cleavage. Another model walked out in a peach-coloured drop-waist dress, with soft translucent fabric on the shoulders, midriff and thighs.
Translucence also softened the crisp all-white ensembles that closed the show, with blocks of sheers.
A model sashayed down the runway in a breezy translucent green coat in a lightweight, flowing fabric that gave the clothes a sense of movement.
Another one wore a similar coat in muted peach, paired with a matching minidress.
Lacoste’s colour scheme this season also gave the collection an interesting edge with the dreaminess of muted colours in fluid translucent fabric, with the palest of pinks and mint.
“For Spring/Summer 2014 collection, the Lacoste palette classics are washed out by the white light of the summer sun. Blues and greens discover subtle halt tones. Red gives way to variations of pink,” said Baptista, adding it’s one of this season’s key trends.
It was altogether a sophisticated luxe sportswear collection, steeped in Lacoste’s spare aesthetics but softened with Baptista’s sensuous accents of lightness and fluidity.
Turning 80 in style