coach envisions a post apocalyptic nightclub
Stuart Vevers tells i-D about "scavenging and salvaging, alien landscape, and this kind of club scene."
Photography Mitchell Sams.
"I went to Santa Fe, I did the Turquoise Trail, and I loved the communities where it looked like a house was being propped up by an airplane wing,” says Stuart Vevers after a particularly stellar Coach show. This season, guests were greeted by an enormous dinosaur assembled out of spare parts, lording it over a desert wasteland. “I went to Ghost Ranch, and the landscapes were almost alien, and surreal. And then I went to a nightclub,” at which point he laughs. “The vibe was sort of Western/New Romantic. So it’s scavenging and salvaging, alien landscape, and this kind of club scene.”
The mood, then, was one of a nightclub after the apocalypse, if said apocalypse had happened in the 80s. The opening look was a dusty colored ruffled blouse worn under a sleeveless leather jacket, which was followed by a succession of loose gowns that would look perfectly at home in the nightclubs of now. Vevers, much more than usual, was playing with proportion — usually the Coach guys and girls have a slim silhouette, but this season he allowed hoodies to reach the knees and coats to fall almost to the floor. The collection was all the better for it, as you felt a new ease. “The Coach girl and guy have always like personalized their pieces, and nothing felt too precious,” said Vevers. “But this was about taking it to the next level. The idea of salvaging American pop culture references, and Disney iconography. Actually from seven different films.”
It wasn’t just pasted on graphics — Disney characters were even integrated into prairie prints, the 101 Dalmations given free reign among the flowers. Dumbo was turned upside down, giving him an eerie look. “It felt like it was taking customization further, and in some ways it was a part two to our fall collection. That was dark, and goth-y, and really long. This time, she’s on a lighter prairie, but we’re alluding to something dark still.” Vevers has his look nailed down, and from there has built a whole design language at Coach to play with. The leather jackets, patched denim, and prairie dresses have become a staple of his freewheeling, idea drenched shows, and this season was up there with his best — from the shrunken military jacket atop a full bodied skirt, to the men’s oversize varsity jackets. The Coach tribe is still one of the coolest and moodiest, likely to turn up in a sticker covered tourbus. And now they’ve got a god. “The dinosaur is their deity — they worship Bronte, the Coach dinosaur.” It was about time fashion became an actual religion.