LACOSTE FW 2013-14

A first patent obtained when he was only 20 years old, and soon followed by many others, confirmed René Lacoste, the courtside champion of sportswear elegance, as a brilliant inventor. the cotton shirt he conceived in the mid-20s became an instant classic within a wardrobe that had largely remained unchanged for centuries. it was a brand new piece, with a name like an inventory: l.12.12. l stood for Lacoste, 1 for the petit piqué material from which it is manufactured, 2 for the short-sleeved version and 12 is the number of trials before the final version of this futuristic shirt came to life. Adopted everywhere and by everyone, it’s hard to imagine today that the polo shirt wasn’t always around. Its creation rings like a manifesto, heralding the advent of the Lacoste house which this year celebrates its 80th anniversary.

From the outset, and ever since his first LACOSTE collection, Felipe Oliveira Baptista draws attention to this lesser-known side of René Lacoste the inventor. This season’s particular focus is on the first 1 of the L.12.12, which explores the infinite possibilities of piqué, its iconic material. Double-faced or thermo- bonded with Milano, leather or piqué jersey, the petit piqué appears both familiar and different. Structured and structuring, the fabric holds architectural volumes that frame the proportions of a very precise collection. Finding itself at the heart of an imaginary polar expedition, the hybrid lines are as supple as they are static, both urban and technical, and they mix fitted pieces with protective oversize items. Func- tionality as the new chic has become the LACOSTE guideline.

As if in a desert of ice, colors cut across silent harmonies of whites and neutrals, in geometrical stripes, or are revealed by double-faced fabrics. Zips, seam- sealed stitching and piping delineate and evolve with each piece, releasing hidden details along the way. Jersey and double-faced Milano complement the piqué and its variants, thereby allowing a certain roundness to seep into clear-cut structure. Shoul- ders are comfortably dropped, and the important pieces have the sharp purity of sub-zero weather. Prints, sometimes abstract, display topographic maps or icebergs.

The Look
Studied precision and nonchalance. Essential volumes, rounded, enveloping the body to better emphasize it. Layering: ample meets fitted. Tomorrow’s vision of yesterday.

An intense palette of faux primary colors –blue, green and also bright orange- shakes up shades of whites, greys and dark greens.

Petit piqué in all its guises, double-faced contrasts between knits, cotton canvas, double-faced wool, boiled wool and mohair.

A piqué polo shirt with a high collar stand, large sweaters and knit dresses whose turtlenecks become hoods, sweatshirts and jackets treated like armor, windbreakers with a removable lining that can be worn on its own, a tight knee-length polo dress.

Leather goods, inspired by travel bags, echo the collection in colors: a grained leather tote with striped fabric straps also comes in a mini version with a handle. Footwear and apparel have received the same color treatment : by touches on cut outs, sometimes elastic, or on a heel. Height and an ultra feminine arch both contrast with the essence of sport. For men, a gusset pocket leather and nylon bag can either be worn across the back or be handheld. The classic sneaker also goes mul- ti-colored. All in all, balaclavas are paired off with tops and dresses while striped astronaut’s gloves play with materials and complete the style adventurer’s outfit.