Fashion Weeks

LACOSTE FALL-WINTER 2024: Victory of 1927

The Fall-Winter 2024-2025 season sees Lacoste returning to the official Paris Fashion Week calendar and reclaiming its roots, now artfully reawakened and reengineered for a new era by Creative Director Pelagia Kolotouros.
Photo: Courtesy of Lacoste

For her Paris debut, the highly respected Greek-American designer re-energizes the brand in the spirit of the Années Folles, when René Lacoste — aka “the crocodile” — was the world's number one ranked tennis player and Paris was the world capital of creativity across the arts. Strong tailoring, crisp lines and sharp graphics play up the dialogue between fashion, sport and – particularly – art, which is as central to today’s creative scene as it was in René’s day.

The first Frenchman to win the Davis Cup in America, in 1927, René was one of the Four Musketeers, whose historic win would lead to the construction of Roland-Garros stadium and, by extension, the French Open. One of the world's most prestigious sporting competitions, that event perpetuates the Lacoste legacy and unites a global community to this day.

For Fall, Lacoste takes center court to salute its founder — a pioneer, inventor, and proto-fashion icon — and celebrate both the House’s legacy and its ultra-modernity. Pelagia Kolotouros and her studio revisit tennis codes and archival references, transposing them into sophisticated, feminine ready-to-wear: lines twist, angles disappear and curves surprise as she carves out a new path informed by the elegant modernism of the 1920s and 1930s. French chic embraces athleticism, subverting clean-cut, preppy codes through easy, sophisticated, and universal daywear. One detects a distinct sensuality lingering just beneath Lacoste's original allure.

The show’s leitmotiv is based on the original illustration for the Lacoste crocodile, designed by René and the artist Robert George in 1927, now in modernized dimensions. Emphasized in colorful graphics on powerful, minimalist silhouettes and blankets, it becomes a disruptive design element throughout the lineup. Baby crocs play up femininity and glamour in all-over silver sequin embroidery on mesh lace dresses and tank tops, glide along silk pleating and reprise a tie motif on neo-bourgeois silk scarves.

Separates evoke young René's American adventure. The designer explores references such as the original Lacoste tennis polo from 1933 and tennis pleats, in fleece, with track stripes and with archival “Chemise Lacoste” labels. A Pop Art-style jacquard is emblazoned with motifs inspired by René's Davis Cup win.

René's victorious homecoming is recounted through new proportions in tailoring, with subtle contrasts of fit combined in a single silhouette. Continuing the sports metaphor, pleated skirts inspired by the ones worn by tennis champion Suzanne Lenglen appear in a classic twill for an impeccably tailored look, while pleating on leather turns a sports signifier into a design code. Utilitarian pieces like sport tops, parkas and puffers fuse fashion and function. New-gen cable-knits update old-school country club style for today. Coats cut like generous robes accentuate freedom of movement, slipping easily over sport tops and fitted jackets for a fluid, progressive look.

Iconic essentials include a double-breasted cashmere wool coat hand-embroidered with a scaled-up yellow crocodile that recalls varsity jacket techniques. Like well-stamped vintage travel bags, croc-effect bucket bags recall the crocodile suitcase promised to René Lacoste by his coach Allan H. Muhr before the 1923 Davis Cup. In another reference to the House’s origin story, a photographic print of René Lacoste smashing a ball appears on a series of total looks.

Grace and sophistication, performance and comfort, structure and ease converge as crocodile lace, silk, sheer layers and draping gently contrast with sporty technical materials. Colors, too, reflect the Lacoste saga, moving from sensual black to clay-court terracotta with contrasting accents of sky blue, grass and Lacoste green, and pure white, an emblem of victory on the court and off.

In the spirit of creativity and collaboration, Pelagia Kolotouros bridges generations and communities, inviting them to make Lacoste’s codes their own.

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Photos: Courtesy of Lacoste