lacoste gets olympic for spring/summer 16
Felipe Oliveira Baptista mashed up national emblems for the French brand’s New York show.
Last season, Lacoste creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista took a trip through the storied French brand's on-court history, blending 30s tennis costume tailoring with playful 70s typography. But yesterday at Spring Studios, the Portuguese designer showed a spring collection that was focused on the future. Specifically, 2016. "We're dressing the French Olympic team again for next summer's games in Rio, so that really got me inspired to do a whole collection around the idea," Baptista said backstage.
Although he's been at the helm of Lacoste for five years, Baptista only started centrally incorporating graphics in recent seasons. Spring/summer 16 puts a new twist on the opening ceremony's focal point: flags. From Switzerland to Japan, Baptista dissected various national emblems and reassembled their shapes -- creating new geometric patterns that appeared across pique polos and lightweight outerwear. Flags also inspired Baptista's color palette, which consisted largely of bold, primary hues.
Last season's Richie Tenenbaum-esque silhouettes were rather streamlined, but Baptista's spring/summer shapes were influenced by "the idea of a uniform -- aircraft and army clothing." "A lot of research went into very lightweight fabrics and how they're bonded together," he said. Parachute straps, belts, and drawstrings emphasized the collection's convertible functionality: aviator jumpsuits unzipped to become coats, and nylon windbreakers boasted backpack style straps. "In today's world, I'm interested in something that can adapt to our life," the designer added.
While 80s gymnastic vests inspired Baptista to incorporate elastic banding details that structure a handfew of garments, spring/summer 16 was all about "a sort of relaxed, easy elegance," the designer mused. That vibe was certainly represented by Lacoste's cool-as-a-cucumber-catwalk crew, which consisted of i-D cover stars Binx Walton, Mica Arganaraz, and Julia Nobis.
And for the record, Batista's cross-cultural hybrids weren't merely contained to his clothes. We spotted Suzy Menkes lowkey bobbing her head to the show's pulsing soundtrack: a steel drum remix of Rae Sremmurd's No Type.
Text Emily Manning
Photography Jason Lloyd-Evans