September 05, 2008
Yes, that was a soundtrack of crickets chirping to accompany your entry into the Lacoste showit was meant to evoke creative director Christophe Lemaire's idyllic Provençal childhood summers (who knew Arles has something in common with Akron?). And that's where Lemaire beganin Arles, not Akron, that is, via breezy by-the-pool shirtdresses over crocheted bikinis and all manner of crisp, pale cottons worn with leather sandals, rope belts, and straw bags spilling over with wildflowers. The designer then amped up the sport factor and color quotient in a sherbet-hued group of striped polo dresses and a slew of one-piecersjumpsuits, rompers, and even a set of hooded terrycloth bodysuits. But the news here was the debut of the label's younger and, accordingly, less expensive line, unofficially named Red!. As he does with most of his runway oeuvre, Lemaire made a clear and bold visual statement, splicing his mod inspiration with golf gear in a punchy palette of black, white, and green. Mondrian-esque shifts with golf shoes made the point, but most girls (who aren't Annika Sorenstam) will probably flock to the less thematic merch, like the checkered windbreakers, cropped pants, and newly tightened and brightened polos with a maximized crocodilegoing back to the heart of what brings us here in the first place.