There is perhaps nothing more quintessentially Americana than the idea of a good old-fashioned road trip. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that designer Stuart Vevers (a native Brit himself) would use the concept as a jumping off point for his Spring/Summer 2015 collection at one of the most American houses of all: Coach.
The collection’s “Thelma and Louise”-esque undertone was palpable before the models even sauntered down the runway, with the gallery space on Manhattan’s West 22nd Street done up convincingly as a gas station in the middle of a desert somewhere off Route 66. Waiters even offered cappuccinos that were frosted in the colors of a hazy desert sky.
And then came the clothes. When asked about his collection, Stuart Vevers said he made “a lot of the references of of Americana, cool American ease and effortlessness”. How, well, Coach-y, right? Think again, for Mr. Vevers was also heard saying slyly ” I just wanted to have some fun.” Well, fun he most certainly did have with the garments for this new line up. They were all things wild and fabulous, at once ridiculous and yet entirely wearable all at once. Highlights included flatform pool slides (perfect for hanging around that roadside motel), fluffy pastel fur coats, and twisted cartoon animal illustrations done by animator Gary Baseman that gave an eccentric twist to sweaters and gauzy chiffon dresses.
The collection also seemed like a continuation of this fall’s heavily retro vibe. The A-line was in full force, with plenty of minis and the occasional minuscule dress (in studded leather, no less) and leopard print to keep every ’60s maven out there happy for another season. In the more casual-chic seventies direction, the Coach runway was home to many a flared pant. When asked about whether or not the silhouette will make a comeback next spring, Vevers told vogue.com ” I don’t think the younger girls have hangups about the flare. It’s new to them”. Hear that, fashionistas of the world? It may be time to go sifting through your moms’ old high school clothes for real this time.
All in all, I think that Stuart Vevers could not have chose a more appropriate theme for himself this season. After taking the helm at a floundering Coach one year ago, he has made significant progress in putting the label back on fashion editors’s “must” list. In just two seasons he has proven himself not just impossible creative and talented, but also that he is the perfect man for the job of revamping one of America’s most iconic houses. For Stuart Vevers at Coach, it really is an open road.