PARIS, France — Guests were teleported to the quintessential Parisian tennis court — Roland Garros, though not the main stadium — for today's Lacoste show. The label will be forever associated with tennis and its piquet polo T-shirt. But the company is trying to cultivate a deeper brand story.
"Right from the start, René wanted to create a brand,” said Creative Director Louise Trotter backstage. "He invented the polo in order to play better, but Lacoste has always been about the merging of sport and fashion.”
For Trotter’s sophomore show, the sport element was toned down while fashion was pushed up — way more than in her debut collection. There was a lot of oversized tailoring, for instance, and rubber raincoats; even the tracksuit pants were given a fashion makeover with wool intarsia in painterly colours combined in odd ways. They were worn with loafers swarming with a crocodile pattern — a look that's very Gucci although not owned by Gucci.
"The palette has quite a nostalgic feel, but there is nothing retro about the collection,” added Trotter. No, there was nothing retro, but there sure were a lot of takes on the polo shirt, from oversized tees to dresses. There was leather, there was volume and there was a lot going on.
All of this, however, left the main question unanswered: What does Lacoste want to stand for as a brand? What makes it desirable compared to the range of similar labels out there? Trotter has talent and taste, but needs to fine-tune the vision. The rest will follow.