Lacoste Spring 2018: Paris Fashion Week

Inspired by Film: Lacoste Paris Fashion Week SS18

Sporty, funky, retro and fun. Those are a few ways to describe Lacoste’s Spring 2018: Paris Fashion Week show. It’s also the brand’s return to Paris after 14 years spent showing at New York Fashion Week. There’s a lot to say about the new collection. But perhaps the press materials describe it best.

So here we go:

It’s an anniversary hailed by a Paris homecoming for Lacoste, after 14 years spent on the New York runways. It’s also a clear statement for this symbol of French elegance.

Lacoste: Paris Fashion Week SS18

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That of its founder, René Lacoste, winner of the 1927 Davis Cup, whose charisma and creativity crystalized the sportswear DNA specific to the Lacoste house —comfort, chic, movement and innovation.

It’s a sports-inspired urban wardrobe, fit for all contemporary lifestyles. A timeless style, seen through a playful eye, for a new attitude as radiant as it is offbeat.

It’s a sports-inspired urban wardrobe, fit for all contemporary lifestyles

It’s with this legacy in mind that creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista has, for the past few seasons, been giving free reign to personalities plucked from the contemporary art scene, thereby giving rise to collector capsule collections.

The last guests to date are French artists and designers Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag from M/M (Paris). The outcome is a collection released in November 2017, as well as some of the original prints of summer 2018.

Their take on the logo endlessly repeating itself — the 7 letters of the
word Lacoste outlining the world’s most famous crocodile.

In a freer style painted with watercolors by Mathias Augustyniak, the mix of icons (crocodile, tennis ball, polo shirt and glasses), for a modern version of the couture scarf print.

To celebrate the abundance of diversity, Felipe Oliveira Baptista draws inspiration from French cinema, one of his first windows through which he peered into French culture.

Baptista draws inspiration from French cinema

The spring-summer 2018 collection, inspired by two antagonistic films of the mid-90s, freely combines the street codes of La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz with the “bourgeois” normcore ones of Eric Rohmer’s Conte d’été.

Their two worlds clash and intertwine inventing new attitudes, deconstructing and twisting the classics, all the while grounding them in their era and raising the question of what today is formal and informal, sport or sportwear.

The notion of play primes here. Felipe Oliveira Baptista no longer treats the heritage as sacrosanct and humorously mixes up the ‘bourgeois’ and sports codes adopted by the street.

Reacquires the iconic colors — navy 166, red 240, green 132 AND white 001.

Rediscovers the mist blue, flaming pink and anthore yellow, classic Lacoste pastels of the ’80s.

Stamps the crocodile on a loafer’s buckle or imposes it upon the golden buttons of a piped cardigan and those of a blazer cut from sweatshirt fleece. Has a new take on the double-breasted blazer for men and women, a favorite with René Lacoste, and rethinks the legendary 1930s high-waist trousers, with their front-pleats, folds and turn-up cuffs.

Transforms a boat shoe into a short-heeled court pump, bedecks the in-house handbag with a golden chain and reissues a 1990s sneaker model.

In order to better rock the boat, technical and noble materials rub shoulders, as seen with the nylon and suede windbreaker.

Or when the very chic cricket cable-knit is spotted on a cashmere tracksuit.

Windbreakers, pea jackets and XXL tracksuits with large brightly colored yokes, the go-to pieces the 90s youth, are re-released as high-tech version of themselves: materials breathe while fabrics are thermo-bonded and no longer sewn.

Hallmark of Felipe Oliveira Baptista, the intelligent garment is modular, like the shirt or cardigan grafted onto a polo shirt or a tank top, whose sleeves are tied, smartly, across the shoulders.

The beauty of the cuts brings about new freedom for the sportswear pieces made from openwork mesh nylon.

They slide over chiseled and bronzed bodies, undressing them, revealing a shoulder here, an athletic leg there, as if emerging from a chrysalis.

The Lacoste version of sexy is drawn from sport.

An all-natural sensuality, void of aggressiveness and far-removed from the clichés; a free body in motion.

The strapless yokes and off-one shoulder necklines emphasized by a ruffle bring to mind the radiant Isabelle Adjani in L’été meurtrier.

At the center of it all, the white polo shirt, a masterpiece created just 85 short years ago, has its second wind away from the tennis courts, and lends itself to bold proposals.

For men, it is worn oversize over a pair of jeans or then again, more classically, albeit with a slight twist. For women, it wraps itself around the body, slips off the shoulder or becomes an evening dress.

Thus heckled, its crocodile is forced to clamber up onto the shoulder, even as its button placket plunges all the way down.

A collection that rewrites with humor and inventiveness the house heritage, neither sanctifying nor freezing it, but quite the opposite, always keeping it in motion.


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