Christophe Lemaire said good-bye to Lacoste
with a collection that skillfully honored the legacy of René Lacoste himself while incorporating some of Lemaire's own signatures. The designer, who is taking the reins at Hermès, claimed inspiration from modernist architecture for the graphic monochrome opening of the show, but a white shirt paired with baggy, pleated pants ribbed at the ankle brought to mind photos of René and his friends from the 1920's. And there were polo dresses that could step straight out onto a tennis court. Lemaire really kicked off with a group of Eastern-toned pieces: ochre, burnt orange, cinnamon, sunset pink. They're the same colors he used for Spring in the collection he designs under his own name, and they were as winning here. He showed them in the same easy Oriental tunic and kimono shapes for women, and a Mao-like silhouette for men. It was an intriguing gesture to leave such a strong personal stamp on his last collection. Perhaps it was his way of saying that his successor, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, will find a lot more to work with than Lemaire did when he arrived at the label ten years ago.