February 07, 2012 New York
Coppens' emerging strong signature is his interest in athleticism. Given his background as the former design director of Ralph Lauren's activewear label, RLX, that's not surprising. Neither is his deft use of technical fabrics, which he plays against the warmer textures of popcorn-knit merino wool, close-shaved shearling, and ultrafine lambskin. He's clearly attuned to the way that athletic apparel lives a double life, as both a wardrobe of functional garments and as streetwear with its own tough attitude. His trick is to give that attitude an air of refinement: Here, the Coppens strategy played out in narrow jogging pants with angular seaming, sharply cut varsity and moto jackets in unexpected materials such as shearling and tan mac cotton, and slim, elegant trousers with racing bands down the sides. He also made a lot of use of motocross-inspired patching, a reference that, although overt, never felt slapped on or kitschy. You could imagine a guy sporting Coppens' clothes, in particular his very fine outerwear, in a totally natural way. The collection was fashionable without screaming "fashion."