Felipe Oliveira Baptista Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2013 Paris
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Being creative director to two houses is a tight rope exercise that can lead to creative dilution of one or both brands. Fortunately, Felipe Oliveira Baptista shows that he has more than enough creative energies to helm Lacoste –showing in New York- and his own brand in Paris. As with siblings sharing a parent, despite their independent identities, it is hard not to draw parallels between them.

One such parallel is the sportswear vibe that comes off these geometric silhouettes. Rather than referencing a single artist or movement as a starting point, it is in the dynamic of urban motifs that he drew inspiration.

Cylindrical sleeves, asymmetrical hems, an urban camouflage of motifs worked to geometric abstraction.  Felipe Oliveira Baptista created a wardrobe of intensely graphic silhouettes- a jumpsuit decked with a delicate white-backed camouflage-inspired print preceded by an olive zippered top, and tapered trousers combination, in butter-soft leather. Further on, Baptista really let fly his eye for volumes as combinations became bolder: what looks like polka dots from afar turns out to be tiny animal spots, and as colors started to accumulate, so did strategically placed cuts. Printed mesh brought a sense of ease to the sexiness, silk and nylon blends gave a subtle sheen; the combinations were tactile. “The finishing has to be luxurious; it’s the idea, clothes have to be desirable,” he offers as explanation.

Before long, the visual impact of the ensembles are a question of balance, a complex equation where fabrics are also a factor. Emblematic of this collection is a silhouette evoking a familiar combination of a varsity jacket worn over a hoodie, in a primal combination of red, white and blue. Triangular cutouts at the waist repeated throughout the collection, but there was never a bare mid-riff. Baptista likes his women to show their allure in an unconventional, discreet way.

“It was kind of mathematical, I’m geekish” he smiled backstage after taking his bow. “Graffiti started as dissected letters, so in the same way, I wanted to create classic prints and then build them to an organized chaos, to find a harmony in accumulation.” Mission accomplished.

With a collection like his spring/summer 2013, Felipe Oliveira Baptista demonstrates that he definitely had the cool girls in mind such as DJ Leigh Lezark, who would later that day mix for the Mugler afterparty.

- Lily Templeton

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