The OCD-ishness of Felipe Oliveira Baptista's allover tennis-inspired prints in today's Lacoste
show was the designer's most winning stake yet in the heritage of the legendary sportswear label. Rackets, balls, an umpire's chair, and a pattern of folded polos were serially repeated into abstraction on shirts, pants, and parkas. It was a funny, sunny way to extend Lacoste's iconography into a poppy new realm. And there was a color palette to match: Cobalt blue and fiery orange intensified the shades of summer. But that seemed to be Baptista's general strategy—to give the Lacoste lingo a good, hard shove into a more intense, maybe sexier realm. Hence the alligator emblem embossed all over leather, particularly striking in a midnight-blue shift, or the classic polo cut from shivery latex.
The designer was smart enough not to scare the horses, though. There were still extended polo shirt dresses for sporty girls and waffle-textured blazers for their racket-swinging swains, but the lingering impression was one of sly wit.