Coach 1941: Pre-Fall 2017
Last night, it was off to Pier 94 in New York, where Stuart Vevers chose to stage his Coach 1941 Pre-Fall 2017 collection. Or Fall 2017, for the selection of men who joined the girls on the catwalk. It’s a big year for them, you see, with the American mega-brand turning 75. But banish from your mind any septuagenarian, OAP connotations to such a ripe age. Because we like to see Coach years as the opposite of dog years (maybe, we might have got this the wrong way round) – where 75 human years equates to a single Coach year. Which, is a long, convoluted way of saying that Coach feels like, under Vevers, a brand that’s just at the beginning of another 75. And, in keeping with this, could we say that the collection had a childlike feel to it? Not childlike in anything inappropriate for an adult person to wear. No, this put us in mind of Stranger Things – a kind of awkward 1980s Americana – think: varsity jackets, teddy shearling jackets and nostalgic symbolism, a vintage NASA logo emblazoned on bags and t-shirt. Those checkered trousers, ever-so slightly cropped at the ankle and worn with big, oversized outerwear (bought two sizes by your mum too big for you to grow into) and a riot of clashing colours and prints – stars, florals, checks. Which, combined with the intarsia rockets on the knitwear, leant the collection a sense of hopefulness, of looking forward. “Uniting the collections got us thinking about togetherness and optimism,” Vevers said about the fact men and women stomped the catwalk together. “That inspired the clothes, the set, the casting. It’s diverse; it reflects real life.” Amongst all this was also a nod to the city in which Stuart chose to hold the show, a city that has long provided the foundation for the brand – New York. So how better to celebrate the city, and 75 years of Coach, than finishing with a belting rendition of Empire State of Mind by the 75-person strong Young People’s Chorus?