Lacoste revisits heyday at NY fashion week

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08:50 AM September 9th, 2012

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September 9th, 2012 08:50 AM

Designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista walks on the runway at the Lacoste Spring 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theatre, Lincoln Center on September 8, 2012 in New York City. AFP

NEW YORK – Felipe Oliveira Baptista revisited the heyday of Lacoste with a New York fashion week show collection Saturday that mixed sporty lines with a sense of fun.

With the crocodile-logo sportswear label marking its 80th anniversary next year, its Portuguese designer told AFP he wanted to “pay homage” to its founder, French tennis legend Rene Lacoste, with a “chic, graphic aesthetic.”

The resulting street-savvy silhouettes that Baptista sent onto the runway at Lincoln Center — with basketball stars Chris Bosh and Kris Humphries among the front-row celebrity guests — were in turns elegant and athletic.

First out were polar white looks, including loose-fitting men’s blazers and oversized parkas, but then came welcome splashes of bright orange and dark blue, with witty graphic prints inspired by the classic Lacoste T-shirt.

In other shows, brave souls in dizzying heels braved a long trek to a dark muggy warehouse by the Hudson River to catch Nepalese-American wunderkind Prabal Gurung’s looks for spring-summer 2013.

He drew from a wide range of fabrics, including organza, tulle, silk and ostrich feathers, in gleaming white or vivid red, with frequent frilly details to create a particularly feminine look.

Backstage, Gurung, who cited celebrated British sculptor Anish Kapoor as a source of inspiration this season, said he was shifting away from body-hugging silhouettes in favor of looser, more fluid lines.

“The idea of giving freedom and ease to women seemed appealing, and that was the starting point,” he said in an interview, explaining how his latest dresses were “gentler, softer” and a little bit cascading.

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