Imagine a toy-store. Imagine a very dreamy, very new yorker toy store, warm and torpid sun rays that light up heaps of toys. The environment is rather melodramatic, everything is yellowish, and some puppets seem to stand out and underline their eccentric nature. This rather weird scene could be used as a metaphor of the most famous film by Texas born director Wes Anderson, “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001), that was a massive success at box-office and determined the raise of Wes Anderson’s style in popular culture as a “radical-chic and hipster” way of living. The film plot is widely known, director’s techniques even more; fourteen years have been passed since its release and Anderson, delighted by his great success, moved on with new productions.
But the Tenenbaums’ heritage has not got lost in the fustian trousers turns-up: creative director of French clothing company Lacoste, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, decided to re-open vintage heavy suitcases and let Anderson’s vibe to insinuate in the creases of Lacoste Fall 2015 collection. “Family isn’t a word… It’s a sentence.” says The Royal Tenenbaums’ slogan, but what can we say about Lacoste family’s style? Tracksuit is the key-piece of the collection: inspired by ready-to-escape look of Chas Tenenbaum, it maintains the bright shades of red, blue and turquoise but the cut becomes more refined and elegant under the French touch of the maison. Fur coats à la Margot and camel-colored raincoats remember the scent of a noble elite, but it is reviewed with minimal eyes: simple long-sleeved t-shirts and pleated skirts could be easily worn on the streets, without losing basic elegance. Aristocratic origins lay on a reminder of the richs’ sport par excellence, le tennis: in sponge headgears and polo shirts it’s possible to distinguish Richie Tenenbaum’s former passion beside his unconditional love for his adopted sister.
“The Royal Tenenbaums” came out in 2001, while the new-revised hipster generation was in the middle of its adolescence; now we are in 2015, last year came out the new Anderson’s masterpiece “Grand Budapest Hotel” and director’s unique style started shining again. But why Lacoste decided to take the Tenenbaum Family as the main inspiration for Fall 2015 collection? Has the brand been fascinated by masks of eccentricity that every character wear to hide deep loneliness or is just the smoke of Margot’s cigarettes that inebriates everybody’s mind? We’ll never know for sure, but it’s true that other brands brought back myths of past times and made them have the leading role in this season’s collection: what about Vans collaboration with Disney? And the multi-accessorized Barbie doll that is idolized in Moschino Spring/Summer 2015 collection?
But here’s the interesting difference. Like the love that Richie and Margot felt for each other since they were teenagers, the relationship Lacoste-The Royal Tenenbaums is a long-lasting one: in the Tenenbaums’ movie the famous crocodile logo of the maison is already stuck on polos and dresses; after fourteen years Lacoste decided to do the contrary and celebrate the film that gave visibility to the brand. However, as Lacoste’s sweatshirts don’t forget to state, “René did it first”; pinch of ostentation or legitimate claim? The thing is that the Tenenbaums’ story has been elevated to the state of cult movie of contemporary ages: just think about Bar Luce, the new café in Fondazione Prada in Milan that is clearly Anderson-inspired; Lacoste in his personal way contributed to remark mood and style of a movie milestone of our times.
In the movie Eli Cash, the junkie family friend and secret Margot’s lover, asserts that he’s always wanted to be a Tenenbaum, but what the movie would have been without Lacoste? And what would have been Lacoste Fall 2015 collection without Royal’s family? Unity is strength.
Article and illustration by Marina Lepori