Min­i­mal­ist luxe

La­coste’s Spring/Sum­mer 2014 col­lec­tion el­e­vates sports­wear with a sen­su­ous in­jec­tion of light­ness and flu­id­ity.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By IVY SOON star2@thes­tar.com.my

THE crisp spring morn­ing and the vi­brance of the New York Fash­ion Week were the per­fect back­drop for the un­veil­ing of La­coste’s Spring/Sum­mer 2014 col­lec­tion last Septem­ber.

Tow­er­ing wire cube struc­tures in a bare run­way set the stage for a col­lec­tion formed by clean lines and geo­met­ric de­signs.

The in­spi­ra­tion for this sea­son’s de­signs were the straight white lines of the ten­nis court, said La­coste artis­tic di­rec­tor Felipe Oliveira Bap­tista. In­ci­den­tally, the US Open was play­ing a short sub­way ride away from the New York Fash­ion Week venue at Lin­coln Cen­tre.

“La­coste is the in­car­na­tion of the sports­wear “a la française”. Its clean time­less de­sign and sense of chic al­ways keeps it a rel­e­vant brand. Say­ing that, La­coste has al­ways been about in­no­va­tion and keep­ing up with the lines,” said Bap­tista in an e-mail in­ter­view.

On the run­way, mod­els strut­ted out in light­weight out­fits punc­tu­ated with lines in the form of thin

pip­ing, colour blocks and sheer pan­els. Ten­nis whites loomed large, but that came only at the end af­ter a play­ful ren­di­tion of colours in­spired by the ter­ra­cotta of clay courts and the bright grass green of Wim­ble­don.

La­coste stayed true to its luxe sports her­itage with re­work­ings of its iconic polo tee, base­ball jacket and ten­nis dress com­plete with a flirty skater skirt.

The ap­peal of La­coste’s col­lec­tion this sea­son is in Bap­tista’s abil­ity to be rooted in its old tra­di­tions and still fit in seam­lessly with mod­ern times. He says it’s about “keep­ing the ‘chic aris­to­crat’ La­coste di­men­sion, but mak­ing it fit into a more con­tem­po­rary spirit.”

“One foot in haute cou­ture but ideas con­stantly drawn from the street and the sport en­vi­ron­ment, I know how to bridge all the gaps. When I’m work­ing for La­coste I try to put all of this into a con­text rel­e­vant to our times,” elab­o­rated Bap­tista, who darted on the run­way for the quick­est of bows at the end of the show be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing back­stage.

The sur­prise el­e­ment in this col­lec­tion is how the Paris-based 39-year-old Por­tuguese de­signer served up sexy along with sporty.

Slouchy py­jama-like ensem­bles gave way to slinky knit dresses, start­ing with a midriff bar­ing cropped top paired with a sleek pen­cil skirt and fi­nally a back­less hal­ter dress which was de­scribed as “part polo part maxi”.

Bap­tista re­tained his an­drog­y­nous touches, but the light­ness and flu­id­ity of his de­signs cre­ated the sen­su­ous­ness of sug­ges­tive­ness and move­ment.

He played with pan­els of trans­parency, with one model breez­ing down the run­way in a navy blue mini dress with stripes of sheer pan­els ex­pos­ing her stom­ach and cleav­age. Another model walked out in a peach-coloured drop-waist dress, with soft translu­cent fab­ric on the shoul­ders, midriff and thighs.

Translu­cence also soft­ened the crisp all-white ensem­bles that closed the show, with blocks of sheers.

A model shashayeded down the run­way in a breezy translu­cent green coat in a light­weight, flow­ing fab­ric that gave the clothes a sense of move­ment.

Another one wore a sim­i­lar coat in muted peach, paired with a match­ing minidress.

La­coste’s colour scheme this sea­son also gave the col­lec­tion an in­ter­est­ing edge with the dreami­ness of muted colours in fluid translu­cent fab­ric, with the palest of pinks and mint.

“For Spring/Sum­mer 2014 col­lec­tion, the La­coste pal­ette clas­sics are washed out by the white light of the sum­mer sun. Blues and greens dis­cover sub­tle halt tones. Red gives way to vari­a­tions of pink,” said Bap­tista, adding it’s one of this sea­son’s key trends.

It was al­to­gether a so­phis­ti­cated luxe sports­wear col­lec­tion, steeped in La­coste’s spare aes­thet­ics but soft­ened with Bap­tista’s sen­su­ous ac­cents of light­ness and flu­id­ity.

Sporty ap­peal: La­coste’s re­work­ing of the base­ball jacket.

Side pan­els de­fine this fig­ure-hug­ging midriff-bar­ing en­sem­ble.

The lines of the ten­nis court in­spired Felipe Oliveira bap­tista this time round.

The La­coste green was rep­re­sented in an out­fit fin­ished with thin pip­ing.

a colour scheme that re­calls the ter­ra­cotta of the clay courts in ten­nis.

artis­tic di­rec­tor Felipe Oliveira bap­tista.

a play with flu­id­ity and move­ment.

La­coste de­liv­ers sexy along­side sporty with this back­less part polo, part maxi dress.

The muted hues of this sea­son’s col­lec­tion add an in­ter­est­ing ac­cent.

another en­sem­ble that plays on sheer­ness and colour blocks.

Sheer pan­els on this mini dress is one of La­coste’s sexy sil­hou­ettes this sea­son.

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