On February 14th, Lacoste debuted its Fall/Winter 2015-16 collection. Designed by Felipe Oliveira Baptista, the styles seen on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York are fresh and unlike anything seen in recent memory.
Baptista went back to the drawing board for his styles: He took inspiration from tennis, an homage to the brand’s founder, tennis star Rene Lacoste. His clothes were athletic, featuring breathable designs that wouldn’t seem out of place on the court. These designs were coupled with dressier, tailored coats and outerwear. This clash is indicative of the overall design philosophy of the line: contrast.
Contrast plays a big role in Lacoste’s newest fashions. The sportswear at the core of the collection is enveloped with flowing outwear, creating a sharp differentiation from the form-fitting lines of tennis garb and the ebbing edges of trench coats moving with the breeze.
This line continues a longstanding trend within the world of fashion: Reinterpreting the reinterpretations of vintage fashions. While that may seem derogatory or like a criticism against the collection, it’s not. Trends are trends for a reason, and trends that are especially pervasive generally have a reason for being so. Classics didn’t become classics because they’re bad, after all. Here, the tailoring is reminiscent of 30s styles as seen through a 70s lens.
The collection has an assortment of fabrics, both heavy and light. It consistently pairs wools, mixed cottons, knits, and canvas with chic nylons and form-fitting materials. It’s traditional sporting garb paired with protective outerwear.
Worth a mention are the patterns and stripes at play. Patterns, such as checkerboard, give a depth and texture to the collection. The slogans “Rene did it first” and “Tennis anyone?” are prevalent, showing that the collection, while astonishing, also has a playful side.
The color palette is striking: earth and sky tones, colors perhaps seen on an average day at the tennis court, are paired with vibrant greens, greys, and purples. Stripes of various colors, standing out from and complimenting the base pallets, wrap around the bodies of the models, playing with expectations of the contours of the human form, playing into another theme: androgyny.
Silhouettes traditionally have set templates when it comes to men’s versus women’s clothing. The newest Lacoste line blurs these silhouettes, leaving little distinction between the genders. The collection makes very little differentiation between men’s and women’s fashion, often combining the two into a single outfit, having fun with our expectations of gender and how they (our expectations) are shaped by the enduring cultural norms, creating what is ultimately a daring and forward-thinking line of fashion.