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New York might be a city known for its cutthroat hustle and bustle, but on Monday afternoon Coach creative director Stuart Vevers invited his show guests to swap the city’s sub-zero (minus 8 to be exact) streets for a slice of cosy suburbia.
Megan Thee Stallion, Hari Nef, Tommy Dorfman, Euphoria star Angus Cloud and Romeo Beckham’s girlfriend Mia Regan all took their front row seats in a vast, 125000sq ft basketball court centre on the banks of the on the East River that had been transformed to look like a faceless suburban American village.
“I wanted the set to be spare and abstract enough that it triggered in the audience personal recollections of towns in America that they grew up in, or lived in or visited… or had even just seen on TV or film,” said Vevers in a call pre-show.
The collection itself was a love letter to archetypes of US style, and the items in a wardrobe that are inescapably all-American. “So many of the starting points come from a very functional place,” says Vevers of the way Americans dress. “It always comes back to a sense of ease: whether it’s the humble t-shirt, or denim, a sneaker, a biker jacket… there’s always a very real, down-to-earth starting point, which feels very Coach to me.”
Leather was omnipresent. The brand’s signature shearling jackets came reimagined in oversized silhouettes with the inner fur dyed in bright colours and there was also a more gothic edit of black leather waistcoats, straight leg trousers and baseball caps, all of which had been made from secondhand leather pieces sourced from a vintage dealer.
“I was digging into the associations that come with leather,” said Vevers, who last year launched a programme called ‘Reloved’ where the brand buys back old bags from customers, reworking them into new arm candy. “It’s a material that can signify investment, status, longevity warmth and comfort through tactility, a symbol of ‘cool’ all the way through to something that is fetish.”
Elsewhere, the collection had an eclectic and youthful Nineties grunge feel, with lumberjack shirts tied around the waists of models wearing graffiti’d band tees, chokers and Coach-monogram print caps. The juxtaposition of pastel lace dresses with black patent Mary Janes and box bags, and tartan jackets had more than a whiff of the nonchalant mix and match Gen Y aesthetic championed by hit TV show Euphoria.
“I’m really struck by the fact that the next generation will play with different references from different eras in such a playful way,” said Vevers. “While that’s always been the case to some extent in youth culture, it feels even more irreverent with young people today. I’m definitely inspired by that.”
Overall the mood was one of cosiness and nostalgia. “There’s still a desire for comfort, and a sense of joy. Romance is a word I’ve used a lot this season, romance and love.” said Vevers, who had placed a single red rose on every seat. It was Valentine’s Day after all.
Scroll the gallery to see the best looks from Coach AW22