by Alex R. Travers
It was generally a treat for the people in the audience to see Felipe Oliveira Baptista’s Spring 2014 collection for Lacoste. Left on each seat was a booklet full of images and explanations. Inside were photos from the Lacoste archives: ready-to-wear shots from 1969 and 1970—set in or around abandoned tennis courts—of male and female models wearing Lacoste clothing. It was around the same time that the artist Sol Lewitt started crafting his white cubic constructions in painted wood. (I only mention this since Lacoste seemed to replicate a large-scale one for their stage.) According to Baptista, the label’s creative director, “everything begins with a line that is reminiscent of modernist architecture.” He also mentioned the lines of the tennis courts and the “calibrated rigor” of the tennis stroke. “Blurred Lines” may have been a hit this past summer, but Baptista had a radically clear vision for 2014.
For men, the silhouettes were certainly calibrated and linear, starting off slightly slouchy then streamlining as the show progressed. Two lightweight, long jackets—one in steel blue, the other in blush—added a breezy freshness. Another hit was a short sleeve rope sweater that provided warming comfort to a pair of steel blue knee-length shorts. For women, you had to admire a halter-top that gave off the trompe-l’œil effect of a completely backless top. It was paired with a matching deep blueberry maxi skirt that Maud Welzen wore well. The use of lines was also evident in piping, its placement de rigueur on a men’s jacket and a women’s robe. Then it got a little more creative—a forest green vertical line kinked sharply to the right and then proceeded vertically down to the hemline of a celadon A-line shirtdress. While Felipe Oliveria Baptista’s collection was modeled on strict linearity, the soft volumes and calm color palate helped it add up to a coherent whole.