Felipe Oliveira Baptista showed his Lacoste spring/summer 2017 collection during New York Fashion Week on Saturday. On the runway we saw casual womenswear as well as menswear, many of which with some level of distinct androgyny.
All of the clothes in the line, regardless of their gender orientation, were easygoing and totally wearable, which Baptista touched on during an interview with Vogue. “It’s the idea of an endless summer, and all of the things I like about the season – ease, comfort, a natural state.”
The Portuguese designer recently took a trip to the Bahia coast of Brazil, from which he clearly gained great inspiration for the Lacoste spring 2017 collection. Baptista came back with this mellowed out collection, full of breezy fabrics and silhouettes that brought a detained peace to the runway – we saw a fresh and light collection with looks that is rather hard to define with any word other than Lacoste.
The designer designs things that would be preppy in aesthetic, but through a trendsetting lens. He brings designs, athletic fashion and successfully markets it toward the urban crowd. It is for the women who love being able to throw on a comfortable piece effortlessly and still look fashion forward. Lacoste is one of the only brands to so successfully promote the idea of “slouchy chic.”
“I guess you could say it’s a bit softer and less technical,” the designer added, specifically in regard to an iconic Lacoste polo that was sent down the runway. The top was in a faded, deep red that gave the idea that it had been faded under the hot, tropical sun. “We washed the pique so that it’s like you’ve had it for 10 years.”
This same process was also used on a pique dress that walked the catwalk. There’s always a lot of work that actually goes into making a product distressed or faded, which is one of the fashion industry’s greatest ironies.
The Lacoste spring/summer 2017 collection, in one word, was chill. The intended wearer of the womenswear will be comfortable in her own skin and ready to take life as it comes. She is an athletic-fashion-driven woman living in an urban world. It is for the woman who prefers oversized garments to slim-fitted ones; someone who is absolutely captivated by the idea of a tailored sweatpant or slouchy wrap jacket dress.
Most importantly, she is a woman who loves the idea of hoods being everywhere within her wardrobe! But the finale dresses in the line were actually quite lovely, taking a break from the blatant androgyny and making a more feminine experience without taking away from the cohesion.
For the men, he also modernized streetwear through the brand’s unique lens. From the classic polos and street suits to track pants, the designer adorned with the logo crocodile as a graffiti graphic. It’s streetwear of today, and totally wearable, making it a great option for men in the market for this type of style; as Baptista said, he was designing for an endless summer!
It seems that with each season, Baptista is just pushing his looks one more step away from that classic tennis-prep look the brand has been rooted in since its conception and one step toward city chic. It’s a concept that has us coming back for more every season, so we can’t wait for his next collection to see where he goes next!
Photos courtesy of Vogue