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Lacoste Womenswear S/S12

Felipe Oliveira Baptista's first collection for the sporty brand introduced a smarter look and a few sexy rugby dresses... plus army-inspired parka coats for the guys

For his first Lacoste collection on Saturday morning show at the Lincoln Center, new creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista did not spare much creative gun powder. Taking over a brand naturally steeped in athletic and casual sportswear, Baptista added formal and smart layers to the Spring Summer collection, while still honouring Lacoste's sartorial DNA. But there weren't that many croc polo shirts present. Instead Baptista looked towards the rugby shirt for inspiration.

He sent out an array of dress-like rugby tops, some of them in multiple colour ways, and others cut deep on the sides, adding a sexy attitude to the proceedings. Stripes featured throughout, occasionally in loud yellow, red and aqua blue shades. A slight army streak was visible through military parkas and coats. Many of them came in olive green. Generally speaking, casual parkas and coats dominated; hooded and in a serene white. Most silhouettes were loose, comfortable and boxy. Cropped and flowing luxe silk polo shirts perfectly summed up the new Lacoste direction; best of both worlds!

Dazed Digital: What was the main inspiration behind the collection?
Felipe Oliveira Baptista
: I was looking at the iconic values of the brand and giving them a twist, looking forward and pushing the brand in a new direction. Also René Lacoste evolution and developing a style.

DD: There were a few more formal elements to the collection...
Felipe Oliveira Baptista:
The idea is that Lacoste doesn't just have to be a weekend and sports brand, we wanted to stretch that and make Laoste wearable every day!

DD: You seemed to have focused on rugby shirts rather than polo shirts...
Felipe Oliveira Baptista
: We've always done rugby shirts so I thought it'd be funny to do a sexier version of them for this show. It's kind of a masculine brand so it was important to twist that a bit as well for a new dimension.

DD: What are a few of the things you played around with and changed slightly for this season?
Felipe Oliveira Baptista:
We added the fluid piké shirts in silk for women and deconstructed polo shirts for men, colour blocking, which is sporty yet desirable... and a L [for Lacoste] print.

DD: Do you have any fave pieces in the show?
Felipe Oliveira Baptista: I really like those colour blocked rugby dresses!