Sportswear has a bad reputation of being lazy or totally louche (think Olivia Newton-John circa 1981 avec neon legwarmers and leotard). This season, however, the influence of sportswear on the spring fashion runways was decidedly chic. Several designers from Alexander Wang to Victoria Beckham took notes from Calvin Klein and his brand of incorporating active sportswear into his pieces. From scuba suits and riding gear to tracksuits and sweatshirts, you can look the part of an athlete without getting your hands and feet dirty. Harness your sportier side with this spring’s sportswear trend.
A mesh-y situation
Perforated fabrics weaved their way through several designers’ fashion line-ups, including Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney, Altuzarra, Cynthia Rowley, and Marios Schwab. Alexander Wang had the most literal interpretation, exploring ways to maximize the functionality of mesh via side pockets on shorts and trousers and all-over mesh paneling on blouses and bomber jackets. Stella McCartney opted for peek-a-boo mesh detailing, giving her feminine collection an athletic spin. Other designers manipulated various patterns and fabrics to resemble mesh. Altuzarra reworked leather to create a perforated dress and a crop-top. Meanwhile, Marios Schwab interpreted his spring fashion focus by sending down a slick assortment of dresses, tops and skirts bedimmed by a mesh overlay.
Sweat it out
Hoodies and sweatshirts may belong in gym bags, but they might soon work their way to the front of your closet. Victoria Beckham put her posh inclinations aside and took a page from Sporty Spice, offering up luxe hoodies. At Marc Jacobs, pretty pastel sweatshirts were paired with leather skirts and accessorized with leather gym bags. Reed Krakoff presented a monochromatic sweatshirt with sheer, wispy sleeves that seemed more conducive to après-gym activities than it did to breaking a sweat. Mulberry featured jewel-encrusted hoodies and Thomas Tait offered an all-white palette of cotton jersey sweatshirts.
What other sports have made their mark on the runways? Find out more about this spring fashion trend on the next page…
Surf’s up If you’d rather lounge by the poolside than show off your backstroke, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t at least dress the part. At Nicole Miller, slinky scuba dresses came in bright pops of colour. Peter Pilotto also dropped a few scuba references with neoprene trims and wetsuit silhouettes. Even Kanye West picked up on the emerging trend in his runway debut; offering up sexy scuba dresses that were part Baywatch, part Bond Girl.
Off to the races “Our spring girl rides by day and cocktails by night,” said Ruffian’s Brian Wolk of the designers’ spring collection. The brand paid homage to its namesake with an equestrian-themed collection, which consisted of tailored jackets and slim satin trousers. The design duo was inspired by riders and muses, Charlotte Casiraghi and the Comtesse Jacqueline de Ribes.
Track meet Several designers gave the uncomely tracksuit a much-needed overhaul and did it – thankfully – sans velour. Philip Lim added track pant vents on elegant silk trousers, while Ruffian presented silk track pants with gold zipper details. Other participants in the track meet: Rag & Bone’s tuxedo track pants and Isabel Marant’s tracksuit bottoms for the luxe set.
Varsity blues Before Ryan Gosling’s scorpion jacket in Drive, there was the varsity jacket worn by everyone from Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf to Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller. Nostalgia for Americana poured into spring from the fall runways. The good ol’-fashioned collegiate jacket kept things casual-chic at Isabel Marant, Rag & Bone and Moschino Cheap & Chic. Isabel Marant paired hers with a tie-dye mini while Moschino Cheap & Chic had an edgier take on the trend in black and white leather. Off the runway, Lady Gaga and Elle Fanning each gave their own take on the trend with a customized Letterman jacket and a tangerine-coloured one, respectively.