Stuart Vevers covered the runway in glitter for Coach 1941’s S/S 18 show. This shine and sparkle bled onto the collection, which was inspired largely by the work of Keith Haring.
Lace-lined silk negligee, Western-style suede coating, Hawaiian shirts, leather pants, and a dark denim Canadian tuxedo were a few of the opening offerings. The show began with celebrations of Americana: we’ve learned by now that Vevers loves his adopted nation, and has a special affinity for vintage New York rock and Western film aesthetics. What came next was tied more closely to Haring. Hearts, (Coach) dinosaurs, and human figures, filled with glitter and printed on tees and dresses, mimicked the cartoonish outlines of Haring's famed eighties graffiti.
There was a real playfulness to this collection. It’s about New York and what the city once was, but it’s an imagined version. Here, Kaia Gerber wears a rusty leather bomber layered over a satin pink version. Winnie Harlow walks in a graphic frothy dress filled with rhythmic, swirling Haring-like illustrations. There are letterman knits and jeans dressed up with star patches.
If you know Haring’s work of course, you know that much of it focused on themes of subjugation, drug use, dealing with AIDS, and apocalyptic fears. It was on the subways so anyone could reach it. It was pop, democratic by choice. It was also commercial—one can be confident that Vevers’ novelty bombers, in pastels with glitter detailing and Haring styling, will sell out fast come Spring. There's no darkness in Coach's references; only a capitalisation of the glitz that came alongside it.