Felipe Oliveira Baptista took Lacoste on a cosmic voyage for fall as he delved into the life of founder René Lacoste, who joined the aircraft industry following his tennis career and eventually founded the company Air Equipement, which led to the development of the Concorde and Airbus programs in France. “My dad was a pilot himself, so I have always been obsessed with planes and sci-fi,” Baptista said backstage, noting the collection’s mix of aerospace references. “I like this idea of looking ahead as well, especially in these times. It’s good to try to push things forward.”
With the exception of a couple of looks featuring iridescent galactic prints, Baptista tread gently on his space motifs, working Nineties street and grunge vibes through his women’s looks. In the latter category, he rendered buffalo plaid into a pair of dresses — one featuring sleeves wrapped around the waist, a trademark grunge look — and an oversize mohair cardigan worn with a leather miniskirt. He also mixed classic and technical fabrics, as in the black-leather trench accented with colorful patches of nylon that opened the show or the patchwork leather flight suit that followed.
For men, Baptista offered a tight lineup with the same streetwear references that continue to pervade men’s wear. The models wore baggy trousers with cargo pockets, color-blocked track jackets and anoraks and monochromatic flight suits styled over turtlenecks. Baptista also created fleece jackets and flannel shirts that could be double-layered or tied around the waist. “I like the idea of clothing that’s adaptable to your life and can do something for you,” the designer said. He also played with the men’s wear fabric of the moment — corduroy — and showed a cream jacket with a high neck and matching baggy pants. He rounded out the assortment with a few dressier pieces, including a chocolate-brown leather trench, a Seventies-influenced leather bomber and a roomy double-breasted suit that looked comfortable enough to fly in. With this collection, Baptista once again demonstrated his ability to distill trends while remaining true to the French brand’s heritage.