Under the rallying sign of the crocodile, Lacoste creative director Louise Trotter applies history and handcraft in equal parts for the Spring Summer 2021 women’s and men’s collection. Photographed by Quentin De Briey on street-cast characters in Paris, France, the collection celebrates the universal notions of sport through LACOSTE iconography past and present.
Exploring the inside out (and the outside in) of our shared experience, Trotter deconstructs vital emblems of LACOSTE heritage with the keen eye of a passionate collector. The result is a dynamic exercise of upcycling that marries deadstock, vintage elements and new creation, where garments constructed in the Paris studio or the LACOSTE ateliers in Troyes, France, reveal the past lives of fabrics and hardware, or the trace of the human hand. Assuming a casual silhouette anchored in the shapes of tennis, golf, boxing, cycling and nautical sports, intricate separates are cut and pasted into patchwork heirlooms – unique and limited-edition creations where polo shirts become jogging pants, nylon windcheaters are recycled as tennis shorts, and the tennis sweater finds raw hybrid forms. Other LACOSTE classics are exaggerated or abbreviated; pleated skirts are shortened, anoraks cropped, and parka sleeves dropped for a relaxed attitude all around. The polo shirt is pushed to the extreme: striped, ribbed, and fringed as boxy short-sleeved knits.
Questioning the ubiquity of the LACOSTE logo, Trotter gathers its footprints from across the decades, transforming its universal symbology with tactile new expressions. From a cursive crocodile print to thread embroideries, an archival globe motif and the screen-printed return of the ‘Chemise Lacoste’ design, graphics punctuate each piece in contrast or monochrome statements chopped and layered together. A landmark collaboration with the French house of Lemarié, embroidery and feather specialists since 1880, epitomizes the season’s spirit of collage. In a world first, LACOSTE invites Lemarié’s ‘haute couture’ savoir-faire into the world of sports apparel – resulting in a cream sweatshirt and oversized white piqué polo shirt embroidered with geometric crocodile appliqué stitched together from an array of historical jacquard labels. Code-named #CrocoCouture and limited to 200 pieces worldwide.