You know the deal by now that during shows, the blog unexpectedly slows to a terrible grinding halt because inevitably I'll be pounding out the posts on the shows later on in the season. Another reason to account for blog absence though is the lingering distraction of the US Open, what with New York fashion week shifting a few days earlier and rain delays extending the tournament a little bit longer. I'm an incongruous mess. I have the fitness of an overweight hamster but at the same time, watch tennis matches with a voracious appetite, obsessively reading up comments on sports news sites that weigh up the merits of Rafa, Fed, Djok and with a bit of patriotic spirit, Murray.
Therefore I'm glad to report that fashion and tennis have come together on more than one occasion at New York Fashion Week thus far, somewhat justifying my sideline obsession with checking up scores, reports and stats. Alright, so a tennis-themed Lacoste collection is nothing out of the ordinary given that the brand's founder René Lacoste came up with the famed croc-emblazoned poloshirt. It's a mind bogglingly obvious theme although previous creative director Christopher Lemaire and more recently, Felipe Oliveira Baptista are careful not to over-riff off the brand's tennis heritage for fear of overkill. Baptista takes on tennis heads on though for this S/S 13 collection by injecting wit and humour and drawing from literal tennis iconography for what I thought was a really peppy/preppy outing for the fairly new creative director. Prints tessellate with tennis balls, locker doors and umpire chairs as well as folded up Lacoste shirts create geometric harmony that really worked. Bum bags incorporated into trousers, creating a relaxed slouch at the hips weirdly clicked with me (namely because they'd faciliate a bag-free life). Smoky and frosted latex worked into well-cut polo shirts and flyaway raincoats and croc-embossed leather pieces added a textural contrast to what was mainly a print-focused collection. If Wimbledon comes a-calling next year, an all-over print ensemble from this collection would be just the ticket to a) making journalists from the Sun/Mirror/Daily Mail chortle and b) injecting a much welcome dose of pop into the sport.
Where tennis was thrusted in your face at Lacoste with flying balls, at Rachel Antonoff's presentation, the attitude to the game was far gentler. The seeting was a genteel country club, inspired by the 1977 documentary Powers of Ten, which opens with a shot of a couple pinicking before being zoomed out to a times ten scale. It's an interesting idea that Antonoff has picked up on, whose collections normally hone in on an ultra specific narrative, underscored by her thematic presentations. The idea that the world is bigger than what we see is illustrated by the prints where you see an birds eye view of Versailles where the gardens become a grid like pattern. Zoom back down to earth and the Antonoff girl is enjoying pastimes of yesteryear with a spot of wooden-racket tennis playing, a picnic (which we got to enjoy too thanks to the PBJ sarnies and pink lemonade) and lonesome tree carving. It ends with a wedding cake that sees the girl marrying herself, a strong sentiment that makes many a girl swoon for Antonoff's clothes. Girls creator/star Lena Dunham was there as a primary representative of Antonoff's fanbase, wearing the new G.H. Bass shoe collaboration well.