Welcome home, Lacoste. For the brand’s first Paris ready-to-wear show in 13 years as part of its 85th anniversary celebrations, Felipe Oliveira Baptista conjured the retro sportswear look of tennis heroes of yore such as Björn Borg. Curly haired male models with mustaches and retro shades underscored the vibe in this fun co-ed show.
The set was a bright white court in a stadiumlike setting in the Tuileries gardens, with the house’s new face, tennis star Novak Djokovic, in the front row, and a live band playing easy instrumental versions of Daft Punk tracks.
The retro street vibe came through on the high-waisted jeans with exposed zippers, large tops and pants with elastic waistbands and cuffs, and color-blocking galore. Volumes were oversize but still felt natural.
Baptista also managed to inject some sex appeal with the house’s hallmark polo revisited as ruffled, off-the-shoulder tops, oversize dresses draped on the body, and anoraks with twisting zips that dropped off the shoulder. The summery ruffle dresses and pants in prints worked with oversized tennis balls and crocs added a hint of upbeat kitsch.
Droopy cardigans and vintage tennis looks had a preppy flavor, while the gold-buttoned tailoring and a silhouette combining a burgundy jacket, cream polo shirt and bleached jeans channeled Roland-Garros hostess uniforms and umpire garb.
By playing with the heritage of the brand and making something so compellingly cool out of it, Baptista scored an advantage point.