What, exactly, makes the cool kids cool? Cool can be hard to put into words, but you know it when you see it. Being cool is more a feeling than any one concrete attribute, and the Lacoste show, with blaring lights and a ground-shaking soundtrack, presented a collection more felt than seen.
The opening of the Lacoste show exemplified what we all wish NYC clubs would capture, despite their current state of in-authenticity: the show immediately felt epic, consuming and cool beyond the need to try. The music was baring and energetic, but too fashion-forward for a fast beat, and the soundtrack left the floor rumbling enough to set the tone. The mood felt monumental and insistent, qualities not unrelated to the admitted urgency with which we sometimes seek out the best or newest trends. The Lacoste models walked down the runway with a gliding stomp which evoked the graceful toughness that embodies so much of fashion now. Their expressions, laser-focused and intense, added to the sense of futuristic urgency that palpitated through the room.
The only thing that did not feel not urgent, however, were the clothes. The Lacoste color palette was limited, almost lazy, if “untrying” were not the hallmark of modern cool. While Lacoste is, historically, a bright and peppy French brand, this collection felt more laid-back than athletic. The models, young, pale and unfussy, were too self-assured to ever obsessively work out. The music and the models’ laissez-faire attitude, combined with easy styling and zip-up ensembles, created a sense of youthful purpose and sci-fi energy that dominated the first half of the show, until the music shifted and picked up.
Halfway through the show, while maintaining intensity, the music switched from futuristic depths to the feel of summer beach pop on drugs. The lights brightened but the environment became only more intense, and the models walking down the runway began to hide smirks or delight behind serious pressed lips… the kind of hidden smiles that reveal that the straight-faced, unemotive cool kids among us might in fact, underneath tough façades, be having the time of their lives. Globalization and today's economic environments have made the overt glamour and showiness of the early aughts feel out of place, but as the Lacoste show with its laid-back attire advanced: the kids are having fun nonetheless.
While the show’s soundtrack and the models’ stance may have been intense, nothing by Lacoste should ever feel too heavy. The brand’s athletic roots require a certain sunny optimism— and so it was the very practical trendiness of the clothes that provided uplift and relief. The largely monochrome collection, which included light jackets, easy sweaters, trainers and unassuming prints, will perfectly augment the wardrobe of an easy-going NYC kid. This Fall/Winter 2014 show by Lacoste presented not a ground-breaking collection but rather an appropriate one. It fits into the rhythm of youthful fashion today, seizing onto the current preference for athletic touches, which has presented Lacoste with the opportunity to make itself young and fresh again. The Lacoste brand is doing what so many brands have done over the years in a process of continual reinvention: catering to a new crowd in order to again render itself timeless. For older members in the audience, Lacoste polos and logos of yesteryear have already established the brand within our consciousness. For younger generations, however, Lacoste is asserting itself, upgrading the attitude around its design-house athleticism with a new feel of untrying cool, so that the freshest batch of kids can take up the Lacoste brand into their jargon of relevance, too.
Read the original review here for Twenty6 Magazine.
(Photo credits: Style.com)