Lacoste explores its history for spring ‘21

by Stephen Garner

Lacoste’s creative director Louise Trotter explores the French sportswear brand’s history and its signature crocodile logo for the spring/summer 2021 men’s and women’s collection. Trotter presented the collection in a new lookbook photographed by Quentin De Briey on street-cast models in the streets of Paris, France.

For this collection, Trotter deconstructs vital emblems of Lacoste’s heritage with the keen eye of a passionate vintage collector. The result: a dynamic exercise of upcycling that marries deadstock, vintage elements and new creations, 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 windbreakers are recycled into 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, these unique creations will be available exclusively at lacoste.com in early December.