Form Follows Function at Lacoste

Intuitive and spot-on as always, designer Marie-Christine Statz, founder of the label Gauchère – French for left-handed—delivered a pared-down collection of rethought tailoring. One that she confronted with radical feminine touches that nevertheless given a boyish je-ne-sais quoi.

A robe-like blazer opened the show and was followed by a wrap-around skirt with long fringes, and a full, Working Girl-evoking suit jacket. On went a pleated skirt with a bodycon tunic with enhanced shoulder pads.

She seemed to experiment with the idea of uniform as a whole: going from a burnt orange leather shirt jacket with matching military pants, to a suit composed of a crossover top and baggy black pants – all sitting nicely somewhere between formal and evening wear.

A hybrid vest coat-gone-coat made an appearance and proved her conceptual strength, as did a corseted leather skirt and button-up shirt - a small twist making a big difference. Which is probably the

best way to describe Gauchère’s touch: sculptural, intricate and sensitive.

“Today better than yesterday and tomorrow less than today! I hate looking back to the past” once said Junko Shimada, the most Parisian of all Japanese designers. And her latest collection certainly kept her promise, updating her classics to contemporary silhouettes and fresh contrasts. Her iconic Perfecto came in bright blue and worn with an aquarelle painted chiffon skirt, or a gold A-line silk version.

As a nod to the 90s, she introduced a (very) cropped knitted cardigan and a low waist skirt, putting bellies back on-trend à la Britney in her heyday.

A washed-out tartan coat came with a split, in a babydoll cut and chic enough to double up as a dress. Just like the short puffer jacket that followed, with imprinted cherubic faces and simply worn with candy-blue tights. Confronting wardrobes, she paired a long spotted petticoat with a long woollen dress with balloon sleeves.

Shimada further experimented with textiles and atmospheres by layering velour, lamé and satin, gold and workwear blue – and ultimately sensual, bold and timeless.

Since her arrival at the head of Lacoste, British-born Louise Trotter have been reinterpreting and fine-tuning René Lacoste’s heritage – one that is simultaneously functional and luxurious, without one contradicting the other.

This season could be summed up by Modernist architect Louis Sullivan’s motto that “form follows function” – rather than the other way round as so often in women’s history of fashion.

Bella Hadid gloriously opened the show in a pine green pocketed shirt and matching pleated pants, nodding at classical tennis coaches’ outfits.

Trotter went on to break down and rethink the house’s staples, starting with the polo shirt, its bestseller, in crocodile-green with graphic white detailing and a classic shirt collar. The house’s fetish animal popped up sliced and spread over fitted white blouses, or as a mini all-over print.

In burgundy or chocolate brown, tracksuits came flowing in, impeccably tailored to give off a sleek jumpsuit vibe.

Her British heritage also shown through: sleeveless striped cardigans, pop socks, and tartan-printed shirts evoked schoolgirls’ uniforms. All came complete with caps and berets, hinting both at tennis players and UK counter-culture.

As for the result? Think of it as the fortunate encounter between Parisian savoir-faire and a London edge.

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