In his second collection for Lacoste, artistic director Felipe Oliveira Baptista not only continued sartorially to amp up the sporty image of the 79-year old brand, but he also magically made it a winter wonderland inside (as it was snowing outside). As a crowd of fashion insiders pushed their way into the Studio before the show, you could hear the collective gasps from attendees upon seeing these tall framed glass aquarium-like structures that bisected the runway. A bottleneck ensued as everyone started snapping pics on their iPhones and wondering what Baptista had in store.
The mood at the show channeled a low-key, insider affair as fashion-y guests air kissed one another and posed for pics before the show began. A New York Giants player was reportedly snacking on a pre-show muffin off the runway and a heavy foundation-wearing Kellan Lutz made such a low-key entrance that the paps didn’t even work themselves into a frenzy to take his picture. And thereby not giving me the signal that the beefy guy in a tight nautical shirt was indeed the Twilight hunk, until someone pointed it out right before the show started. Damn.
As the lights went down, gasps filled the room as a wintry, snowstorm began to swirl around in the gigantic glass structures. It was pretty damn cool and a perfect mood-setter for the circa 1966 French National Ski Team-inspired collection that made its way down the runway. The color palette remained true to the theme – with blue, white and red remaining constant, mixed in with neutral caramels, creamy ivories and lush navies. Ski-wear was reinterpreted in skin-tight, color blocked and zippered dresses, jumpsuits and tops – plus a more wearable dolman-sleeved and zippered knee-length style. The outerwear was an ode to a mild winter (how did he predict?) with quilted vests for layering, leather sleeved wool jackets and a lovely creamy hooded wool parka. Mixing it up a bit were shift dresses and blousey tops in a brighter-hued crisscross graphic (with sporty cloches to match) and a sexy-sporty slashed-sleeve capelet dress. The near-black navy leather version was honestly to D-I-E for and the show closed out with an elegant palazzo-panted v-neck with the capelet-sleeves. In his second showing, Baptiste again succeeded in giving the brand a sexier, sleeker edge without sacrificing its iconic heritage.