Lacoste Spring/Summer 2013 Collection (www.fashionmaniac.com)

By KARA WEYMOUTH

Runway Images by CHERYL GORSKI/www.fashionmaniac.com

When Lacoste launched in 1933, it was devoted to creating luxury tennis whites for ladies who lunch. So it makes sense that current creative director, FELIPE OLIVEIRA BAPTISTA, would find inspiration from the label’s storied history for Spring 2013.

Since the 80s, Lacoste has had a reputation for turning out preppy basics perfect for the country club set but Baptista has managed to give the sportswear brand a quirky appeal. Opening the collection with whites on loose silks and button downs, he also re-imagined the iconic polo dress as a voluminous shift.

Pops of reds, yellows, and blues punctuated the collection as it moved from the courts to the sidewalk while continuing to play with new proportions for sleeves and waists. Self-referencing, archival prints of folded shirts, and antique racquets covered pieces from silk tanks and matching pants to jackets and dresses that added a strong sense of humor to the game.

The collection really shined when it left the past behind and embraced a more sartorial perspective. It’s not that the ideas were brilliantly new (sexy cutout dresses and leather tops) but wrapped in a Lacoste package they were exciting.

While there were more than enough tennis skirts and sports jackets to keep their longtime fans happy, this Lacoste seemed to be announcing itself as a fashion team to keep an eye on. Game, set, match.