"Freedom." That was Felipe Oliveira Baptista's starting point for this season, which he attributed to everything from the Arab Spring to just being plain thankful to have the freedom to do what he does. On the runway, it translated into models breezing by with streaming hair in sporty pull-on dresses and sleek motorcycle pants. Both were punched up with contrast zips, which ran up and down dresses and snaked around legs.
Baptista is fresh off a well-received debut at Lacoste, where he was lauded for bringing a whiff of sex to the brand. Those zips not only give a girl the freedom to flare out a sleeve if she likes, but also to show a little skin. It was nothing too overt. "Body-conscious, but nonchalant," Baptista said of the look, though the great pointy and studded ankle-strap pumps brought in a necessary wayward and vaguely bondage-y note.
Whether you call it cohesive or one-note, there was a clear concept here, which Baptista evolved in its details. He ramped up with color-blocking in hotter shades like turquoise, coral, and sunny yellow, and by adding gold mesh insets. However, patch pocket epaulets are one idea best left on the studio floor. Perhaps you could chalk the focus up to Oliveira seeking his voice. Sometimes it's hard to put your finger on exactly what he's all about, and you get the feeling he's still sorting it out. Now that he has a bigger stage at Lacoste, that might be a priority. Although as we know, the freedom to flip all that on its head is also, happily, a designer's prerogative.