A Match Made In Needlepoint
Jonathan Adler has been a Lacoste lover all his life, so when the label knocked on his door, he jumped at the opportunity. “I was literally like a kid who hears the ice cream truck,” the interiors guru said. Adler grew up wearing Lacoste polos and Levi’s cords in every color and, in a self-described “bizarre case of arrested development,” he’s stuck to his childhood uniform. To celebrate his designs for the 2011 edition of the label’s annual holiday collector’s series (previous collaborators have included Tom Dixon and Brazil’s Campana brothers), the French brand staged a bash on Friday night at Paris’ Petit Palais after a long hot day of menswear shows. The Palais is, incidentally, one of the only places in town—the other being Bercy, the indoor sports arena—where you can stage a noisy fête without a permit. This evening’s decibels were provided by French electro singer Yelle and her Safari Disco Club band mates. Adler’s husband, Simon Doonan, and his mom were seen pogoing at the front of the stage into the wee hours.
As for the collaboration, Adler thought immediately of needlepoint, one of his favorite mediums. “That’s because to me needlepoint is a kind of country club chic thing and that’s what Lacoste is as well,” he explained. There are three polos for the series: The Special Edition gives the croc a needlepoint look in a puff print. The Limited Edition (there’s 1,212 each for men and women) is a tweaked version of the Lacoste 12.12 style, featuring a hand-stitched croc that comes packaged in a bargello embroidered tennis racket cover. Then there’s the Super Limited Edition. At press time, all the Lacoste team in Paris had to show was a grainy blow-up of Gisele, a nun in an undisclosed convent located somewhere near the French town of Lyons. She appeared to be hard at work at her needles. “We had a hard time finding anyone to needlepoint for us in France,” Lacoste’s John Storey said. The convent has taken on the task of stitching 12 allover needlepoint polos, and since each one takes 400 hours to complete (and because the nuns’ days are dictated by a heavy schedule of prayer), they are running a bit late on delivery. But Adler does have the packaging (large croc-shape boxes in his signature white ceramic and brass) all ready. “The Super Limited Edition is for lunatics. And there are lot of them around,” he laughed.