Stuart Vevers and Coach’s collection videos may end up being front-runners for fashion film of the year. The brand’s Coach TV program, a lineup of shorts written and directed by Frances Frances (with additional footage by Dani Aphrodite, Alessandro Simonetti, and Cake Films), is the rare instance of a digital fashion experience being just as good, if not better, than the real thing. It’s not just because of the popcorn and candy the brand sent in the mail: Coach’s method leaves fashion shows firmly in the past. The label has gone all in on the dynamism, narrative, and comedy the silver screen offers, letting the clothing be the supporting cast for its stars: Megan Thee Stallion, Michael B. Jordan, Jennifer Lopez, Tavi Gevinson, Cole Sprouse, KJ Apa, Rickey Thompson, Hari Nef, HyunA, and more. The many segments that make up Coach TV are kitschy, funny, sensual, and surreal, spoofing TV shows like Friends and the Home Shopping Network. Fashion is truly in the service of storytelling—and isn’t that the point of all this? To sell clothing in a way that allows people to imagine it in their own lives, in their own stories?
Coach is not just innovating in format, but in form. The Coach Forever program Vevers started for spring 2021, reviving past styles from the brand’s archive and showing them alongside new garments, remains one of the most compelling ideas for fashion’s future. For autumn/winter 2021, Vevers has extended the idea, upcycling bags from the ’60s and ’70s alongside leather and shearling jackets made into new, collaged-together styles. Kisslock bags from the Bonnie Cashin era are remade in soft, cozy leather, like pillows; knits from Vevers’s early seasons are remade with Mickey Mouse and Rexy the dinosaur patterns.
On a video call from his Hudson Yards office, the creative director spoke of the “indulgence of nostalgia.” Finding something soft and comforting in our shared past is proving to be an overarching idea of the season. Vevers also wants to offer a cozy, indulgent silhouette. A surprising majority of the collection, including Basquiat-worthy coats and very of-the-moment long johns, is knit. Vampy shoes are replaced by fluffy slippers and mules, and there is a breadth of stretchy, cozy layering pieces. It’s styled together with a certain magpie sensibility that makes it look all the more believable. Yes, you could see these puffy silhouettes shuffling along the sidewalk or at the grocery store right now. That’s the brilliance: Coach has saved the fantasy for its film and delivered the reality through its garments. What a winning formula for digital Fashion Week.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com