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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Coach: On the Varsity Route

Designer Stuart Vevers is ramping up clothing along with the bags

18 Февраля 2016

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

From where I was seated at the Coach show, the bags — held in the models’ left hands — were almost out of sight. And that was a fine test for Creative Director Stuart Vevers. He has been tasked with creating a convincing clothing line for a brand rooted in handbags.

Maybe because he is a British citizen, Vevers has a star-spangled-banner vision of Americana. From the first outings of “Varsity” coats replete with patches like stickers, the clothes looked youthful and cheery; the short skirts, plain or with compressed floral patterns, suggesting a young, late-teen woman.

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear
Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Not coincidentally, a Coach bag was once considered the perfect graduation gift for a school girl stepping out in the wider world. “I feel that Coach has a very important sense of community and a lot of people are now discovering it in an eclectic way,” said Stuart, explaining that he wanted to give a twist to American clothing archetypes. He also saw promise in playing with an “outdoors feel” and exploring a counter-culture take on countrified log cabins.

With all these intriguing ideas, the clothes themselves seemed quite predictable. Short outfits, worn with calf-skimming metallic boots, were surely aimed directly at fresh-faced youth. But tailored, gilt-buttoned sailor jackets and furry coats would have a wider customer spectrum.

из
Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


And the bags? I had the opportunity to see them in all their detail at the showroom, where they came small and cute, hand-held or shoulder length, and on a whole smaller than fashion's recent vast totes. Patches with funky or pretty patterns offered another option.

Stuart has been asked to create a full clothing collection as so many designers from Prada to Gucci did in a previous generation. With his own background working at Loewe and Mulberry, he has the experience for this challenge.

With this Coach collection and his merry enthusiasm for exploring big-country America, the designer looks like he has found the right direction for fashion. Coach clothing? It's in the bag!

из
Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Coach 1941, fall 2016 ready-to-wear


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