Lacoste sailed into American fashion territory in a hyper-modern way. The French sports company was showing its male/female range at the New York collections.
Techno fabrics, angular lines and geometric shapes added up to twenty-first-century style — and won the race to take sportswear into the digital age for summer 2015.
The backdrop of boat sails gave away the message from designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista. He had taken on yacht racing, part of Lacoste’s heritage, by following the credo of ocean sportswear fashion: performance, comfort and style.
He might have added ‘transparency’, for mesh materials made light work of anything from a simple, square top and pants to a translucent raincoat.
Inevitably, the switch between men’s and women’s clothes saw a tilt from streamlined to more daring effects – for example graphic squares in blood red and orange encasing the front of an ultra-light dress. The men got the look of coloured blocks on simple T-shirts.
The show could have been cut by a third – with more impact. But the designer has made Lacoste credible as a fashion brand without losing its core value: clothes for action.
Australian designer Dion Lee’s structured but sporty garments also caught the spirit of the new millennium. Sharp cuts and digital prints created vivid geometric patterns, and gave energy to what were essentially simple clothes.
I liked the way this show of proportions and colour portions was never overdone. Just when the painterly splashes or vivid Matisse-style cut-outs in orange, blue or yellow started to seem too much, the designer moved on to streamlined black dresses, outlined with silver metallic mesh at the neckline.
Melding sport and tailoring created a modern message. And the Dion Lee look — grey zippered jacket with a white skirt decorated with an apron panel of silver mesh – embodied a quirky, sporty spirit.