Posted on 30 August 2016
A new era of change has come - sports clothing is no longer relegated to the gym as the sportswear market becomes increasingly trend led. On the catwalks, everyone from Alexander Wang, to Céline and Louis Vuitton have embraced functional and sporty design flourishes as part of a modern look.
Earlier this year Newsnight's Kirsty Wark sparked a Twitter furore while wearing a tailored pair of tracksuit trousers on air. But this is no longer an example of slipping standards, but an example of a new trend that is showing no sign of slowing down. The new, tailored, sports styles flatter women of any age.
A survey by Sport Apparel found that 78% of women are wearing sports or activewear for purposes other than working out. The look is a grown-up, sexier version that could be worn out for drinks or even to the office. Tracksuit bottoms are crafted from luxe materials such as silk or satin and are in muted or neutral colours. Finishing touches such as drawstring waists and cuffed ankles work with high heels to elevate the trend for everyday wear.
Fashion and sportswear are also converging in the opposite manner; with clothes designed to be worn whilst exercising taking inspiration from catwalk trends. Sports collaborations ranges between activewear brands and mainstream designers, such as Adidas and Stella McCartney have been rife. This year, Beyonce launched her ‘athleisure’ line, Ivy Park, which quickly became the most-engaged fashion brand on Instagram, with pieces selling out as soon as more stock was added. Being stylish and on trend whilst in the gym has become more important to the fashion elite than ever.
One of the most significant collaborations between fashion and sportswear has been Stella McCartney’s Team GB designs, fusing bold textures and modern silhouettes seen on catwalks with practical functionality. The proud puffed chests of the lions on the coat of arms makes for an unmistakably patriotic image, contrasting British tradition with a modern attitude. The design is confident and stands out among the futuristic graphics that are abound on most sportswear.
“I want to deliver for the athletes,” said McCartney, speaking to the Guardian earlier this year, “but I’ve got to please the nation as well. This project has to make a lot more people happy than I’m used to. In my day job, the women who buy my clothes come to me because they already identify with me in some way. This project isn’t like that – it has to emotionally and visually tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people, while keeping functionality paramount. In a way, it’s the most intricate thing I do.”
The fusion of fashion and sportswear is giving us new ways to express our personal style, whether we are heading to the office, out for drinks or to the gym. Embrace the informal edge that luxe sportswear brings and be fearless in your fashion choice. Isn't fashion, after-all, meant to give us a thrill?