New dawn continues to rise at Lacoste as creative director, Filipe Oliveira Baptista, presents his second mainline collection for the heritage French sportswear brand. Something of a marketing dream for Lacoste, Baptista is handsome, smart, laid back and with a young family for whom he lays down one rule – no work at the week-end’s. If there’s one belief that France as a nation holds higher than any other it’s family values. This rings true with the history of Lacoste too, as we are beginning to see in the collections with Baptista inspired specifically by family photos of Renée Lacoste which he's using as a cornerstone in his vision for the brand.
Baptista’s pursuit with Lacoste is to push the boundaries between sportswear and designer clothing. He’s reflecting a question that is being asked on the streets of Paris as girls and women are toying with the same idea. Todays collection took the rugby shirt and ski-suit as a jump off point. Photographs of a mountain motoring expedition undertaken by the Lacoste family in the ‘30s and a group photo of the French national ski team in ’66 were touch points.
Baptista’s design favorite’s (burgeoning signatures?) are present and happily being developed further: the jumpsuit, using colour and graphics to draw the eye around the body, masculine-feminine, invisible fastenings, better fabrics, variations on classics such as the trench and polo shirt. The bag based on the golf bag that Catherine Lacoste used to carry is also being developed further, today a small and large version were seen on the runway. Urban, chic and Parisian seems to be the mantra of the Baptista design team – let’s hope that when these elegant collections go on sale worldwide (Baptista’s first is about to hit the stores) the public will add practical, easy and good quality to boot. We need something to rely on in these quirky times, Lacoste is a good candidate.
- Sarah Hay