Paris Fashion Week: Jonathan Adler for Lacoste collection coming in November
Lacoste unveiled at Paris Fashion Week the latest in its holiday collector series -- a collaboration with designer Jonathan Adler, a limited-edition run of shirts that gives the iconic French brand Adler's distinctive "happy chic" twist.
The story behind this collector series "involves a nun," volunteered author Simon Doonan (married to Adler in 2008), who was on hand for the press preview on the portico of Paris' Petit Palais. "No, really it does."
Doonan wasn't, it turns out, just being his usual wise-cracking self. But any tale that involved Jonathan Adler, crocodile shirts and a nun was worth hearing from the beginning, so Adler obligingly took a minute away from gladhanding visting dignitaries to walk me through the collection.
And since the piqué knit of Lacoste's polo shirt reminded Adler of needlepoint (which he calls "kind of country club too"), he was inspired to use some of his needlepoint designs to kitsch up the Lacoste logo a bit. The result is three different types of shirts -- each of which will come packaged with an additional Adlerian tchotchke.
The "Special Edition" superimposes a needlepoint design overtop an extra-large alligator applique and adds a diagonal racing stripe from ribcage to hem for a little more flair. "I though it would be sportif," he said as he pointed out the embellishment. One version uses traditional needlepoint, and a second renders the design in the same nubby, rubber-like material used on table-tennis paddles. (Ping-Pong just so happens to be Adler's favorite sport.) Adler said each of those polos will be sold with a blue-and-white needlepoint pillow bearing the Lacoste crocodile logo.
Instead of an applique sewn onto the shirt, the "Limited Edition" polos have an actual needlepoint crocodile sewn onto the shirts themselves. Each of those will be sold packaged inside a Bargello needlepoint tennis-racquet carrier depicting a silhouette of the crocodile against a patterned background.
The "Super Limited Edition" version was so limited, there wasn't even one on hand -- and this was where the nun figured in.
"There are only going to be 12 of them total," Adler said. "They're polos that are going to be completely hand-needlepointed by an 80-year-old nun who lives outside of Lyon." He explained that there wasn't even a completed shirt to preview for the press because she can only needlepoint three hours a day. ("I think it's because she has to spend the rest of the day praying or something," he added.) That shirt will be sold tucked inside a ceramic version of the crocodile.
The Jonathan Adler for Lacoste collection will hit retail in November, and the Special Edition package will cost $150, the Limited Edition will cost $250, with the price of the nun-needlepointed version still to be determined.
And, though I'm sure it'll La-cost plenty, I think you'll agree that, even without knowing the purchase price, that story alone already makes it worth every single penny.
-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Paris
Photos: Some shirts in the limited-edition Jonathan Adler for Lacoste collection will be sold with needlepoint pillows (at top left), and others will be tucked inside needlepoint tennis-racquet case (top right). Center, a Special Edition Jonathan Adler for Lacoste polo ($150). Bottom, Simon Doonan (left) and designer Jonathan Adler clown around with two of their fans at the Paris press preview of the collection, which hits stores in November. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times