Très Cool. Lacoste AW21

Louise Trotter‘s sustainable-meets-chic-meets-smart vision of Lacoste keeps on delivering with every season. Lacoste has the benefit of being a brand at the nexus of athleisure and luxury, offering pieces that are at once trop sportif and trop française. That’s a clutch position for a fashion house in these times. It also has the benefit of the well-dressed Trotter at its helm. She is the woman in a slouchy polo, mannish trousers, white sneakers, and aviator glasses that makes you pinch yourself in a jealous rage when you pass her on the street or are seated next to her at a dinner. Someone who is calmly unstudied, comfortable, and totally not try-hard. Suffice to say, Trotter has long understood the benefits of generous, easy-to-wear clothing with arty touches in the form of a funny, albeit small, graphic or the juxtaposition of sorbet colors. So when it came time to design Lacoste’s second collection of the lockdowns, she knew exactly what to do: “Capture the active lifestyle that we share today and that blurs between home life, work, and play.” The backbone of Trotter’s autumn-winter 2021 offering is Lacoste’s famous piqué cotton, cut into lively hued polos, but also groovy tracksuits and cardigans. Some are intarsia’d with crocodile claws and flaming tennis balls – sort of silly patterns Trotter found in the brand’s archive. They are all, she notes, unisex – as is almost everything else in the collection. If the varsity jackets and cool puffers read a little on-the-nose in terms of branding, Trotter’s continuation of spring 2021’s upcycled and collaged windbreakers, trousers, and coats offer a more cerebral take. The Lacoste archive is rich with both heritage inspirations and unused or vintage materials; Trotter has married them nicely in these upcycled pieces. They will pair well with the collection’s piqué tracksuits and cartoon colored pool slides. That’s exactly how Trotter would wear them. In a time when everyone is questioning how to dress, a sure-footed and stylish creative director with a singular vision is a good guide.

“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.

For The Champions. Lacoste AW20

Louise Trotter‘s take on Lacoste gets better and better with every season. Golf bags, kiltie loafers, and signature green crocodile logo were all over the autumn-winter 2020 – Trotter knows that a brand like this needs its codes to be nurtured continously – but there were other additions. The designer has not abandoned the brand’s tennis heritage for its neighboring sport at the country club – through these golf-inspired pieces, she is paying homage to René Lacoste’s wife, Simone de la Chaume, a champion golfer whose legacy has been overshadowed by her husband’s embroidered gator. In De la Chaume’s heyday in the 1920s, shin-grazing pleated skirts and deep-V knitwear constituted the on-green look for women; here, Trotter refigured these silhouettes to be lighter, breezier, and in flashes of pastel colors. Styled as total looks – according to stylist Suzanne Koller’s own wardrobe rules – these golfing ensembles had a quirkily modern feel without veering too far into costume. The colour palette of the collection was definitely one of the most inspiring this season. I think buyers and editors aren’t really taking the new Lacoste seriously. And they actually should: it’s great.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Getting Better. Lacoste SS20

Louise Trotter‘s second collection at Lacoste proves that she knows how to direct the label. The brand is more than a tennis brand, yet its origin lies in tennis, so it was right to present the line-up at the Court Simonne-Mathieu in Paris’s Roland-Garros tennis complex. Trotter upped her focus this season by presenting a collection of clothes which, beyond the crocs stitched onto that trench or onto the sleeve of a yellow suit or printed on the silk pants, conveyed both the spirit of Lacoste and its athletic luxury convincingly. The oversized short-sleeve shirts in graphic color block were a take on the famous preppy pique shirt Lacoste sells. Obviously, Trotter’s version is much more appealing than the original Lacoste design you see at hotel resorts. We known Louise’s aesthetic from her time at Joseph, so seeing lots of minimal leather was no surprise: slouchy rib-hemmed pants and a leather neckerchief styling were great. The leather-collared polo shirtdress is another highlight. Another takeaway from the collection is green poplin dress and a white pleated skirt look. With the help of Suzanne Koller’s styling, Trotter’s Lacoste is heading for a win.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

It’s A Smash. Lacoste AW19

Lacoste is a tricky brand. Its roots are in tennis, while the green crocodile logo is often perceived as dismissingly as Tommy Hilfiger’s or Calvin Klein’s. But Louise Trotter (former designer at Joseph) made me fall in love with her vision of the brand, completely. Her debut was a smash, so a winner strike according to tennis jargon. Her love for minimalist, clean lines and athleisure are true to her style, so it wasn’t a surprise her aesthetic goes so well with Lacoste’s context. The autumn-winter 2019 show was all about tennis clothes, but transformed into desirable, high fashion. Polo necks in ribbed knit; chunky vests were worn over maxi-lenght, breezy dresses covered with the crocodile print; trackpants came in over-sized, slouchy jersey; zipped sweatshirts were kept in bold colours. The opening looks, featuring the chicest shade of beige, informed Trotter’s stance on her Lacoste: expect elevated daywear with a sporty spin. Big love.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.