Coach is always a top show for commercial trends and this week’s SS19 collection provided plenty of them, all with the unique Coach overlay that comes from Stuart Vevers’ blending of all-American style with a European sensibility. So what should you be watching out for?
Festival-ready (pictured above)
Coach’s entire collection looked festival-ready – well, maybe a fantasy idea of what might be worn to a festival rather than the wellington boots or denim shorts that people actually tend to wear. But that small detail aside, the look spoke of a forthcoming summer season that’s all about a retro-modern mix of hippie-meets-prairie styling in which nothing is ‘just-so’ and even formal pieces have a straggly casual edge and quirky denim makes powerful statement. Whether this hits big or not, it’s a great look for windows and ad campaigns – just right to lure shoppers while selling them plenty of skinny jeans and slouchy tops once they get there.
To the max
Much of the collection was about extremes and in this case that meant length and volume. Maxi lengths made a big comeback, their tiered and hi-low hems adding to the mussed-up edge that’s a key styling pointer for the season. And don’t forget the wide-cut gilets, flowing slip dresses and oversized hoodies and tees (often layered over those maxis, see further down for more images) added to the endorsement of length and volume as key trend for SS19.
Coach’s deal with Disney yielded rich rewards stylistically and should influence the wider sector with a rash of cute characters appearing on tees, sweaters and hoodies. In Coach’s case, there was a frisson of darkness that moved kiddie style into the adult world with some images used upside-down or a night-time image of Bambi (that brought back all the childhood angst of the first time you saw the film and discovered Bambi’s mother died). But at least 101 Dalmatians, the Aristocats, and Dumbo looked cute, while helping to pull things back on track if the collection ever veered into too-pretty territory.
There was an almost Mad Max feel to some of the pieces in the collection and when joined up with Vevers’ favourite prairie looks, their offered up a hard-soft contrast that has been seen on quite a few NYFW runways. Look out for the contradiction that comes from the heaviest leathers (often with distressed finishes) against frilled silks, or crisp denim teamed with frill-trimmed cottons, and streetwear staples like hoodies atop flowing sheer maxis.
The frill was one of the strongest details and showed that the statement blouse still has plenty of life in it. Layers of frills around a neckline had a buccaneer feel and offered a more flattering option than some of the higher frilled necklines that we’ve seen in recent seasons. But frills also worked well as sleeve detail or to add extra romance to a flowing skirt. It’s a detail that’s likely to prove popular for consumers of all taste levels next spring/summer as it’s so versatile.
Fringes – the longer the better – have looked strong this NYFW and Stuart Vevers also threw his weight behind them. Whether on the star gilets from the collection or as a way to add extra interest to moccasin-trainer hybrids, they could prove to be a key detail in the months ahead.
Who needs sleeves?
And talking of gilets, we all know that Vevers can’t resist dropping a leather gilet (or two, three or more) into his collections. This time though he’s widened the proportions and made them longer too, layering on plenty of detail like leather appliqué or those fringes, or cutting them in colourful shearlings.
The collection wasn’t exactly overloaded with tees and hoodies but they made such a powerful impression that they’re likely to have an influence beyond their small numbers here. The hoody, complete with cute or disturbing motif, was substituted for outerwear and was teamed with flowing prairie-style dresses, while the T-shirt also toned down the excessive femininity of some of the looks. In real life, they’re more likely to be teamed with skinny jeans or even just with bare legs. But in the OTT Vevers version, as with other looks here, they make great looks to share on social media or in store windows.
Last but definitely not least, Coach’s bags next season will be all about maximalist excess and there’s plenty to give bored consumers good reasons to invest in something new. Panels of contrast-colour leathers or the combination of those leathers with Coach’s signature fabric means minimalism is out the window. Even functional backpack come with multiple pockets and contrast colour tabs, while neat shoulder bags are dressed up by the addition of a trio of traditional frame purse clip closures.