Felipe Oliveira Baptista's new collection for Lacoste
offered a master class in futurizing a venerable legacy. He teleported Lacoste from the 1930s to the 2030s without compromising the label's sporty credentials. In fact, if anything, he reinforced them, because the collection was a very clever celebration of all things tennis. A suede shift with dropped waist and pert side pleats smartly adapted a classic tennis dress. The clichéd polo in piqué was reconfigured in a generously airy cotton. The terra-cotta of a clay court was one of the collection's base colors. And the lines on that court were duplicated throughout: in the piping on a polo shirt, in the futuristically linear pattern on a latex duster. Baptista toyed with the lines, outlining icily pale shirt and pant ensembles with thick bands of contrast color to create an oddly two-dimensional effect. But he balanced that with the sensuality of crunchy knits and sheath dresses in rugby stripes of solid and sheer.
On every seat was a booklet of images from the Lacoste archives, manicured men and women from a eugenically perfected future. Mercifully, Baptista injected genuine sex appeal into that vision. Intelligence, too. This space is genuinely worth watching.