Trendnation: Swanky Sportswear

The rumbles and murmurs of the approach of a serious sportswear trend have been around since last Fall -- remember the roaring return of the boyfriend jean? Well tomboy has morphed to full on sportswear on the runway and the street style interpretations are cooler than ever. By Chloe Dinga. We knew it was coming. With so much androgyny and articles on how to borrow your boyfriend's clothes taking up page after page of our dear glossies, this is anything but unexpected. Nonetheless that can't change the fact that this trend is one of the freshest and most fun new interpretations of fashion that we've gotten to play with in quite some time. And that's usually how it tends to go when you try to imagine the newest trend before it's widely represented by the professionals. Trying to picture sports bras as chic outerwear? What do you mean athletic pants and heels? I remember the first time early last summer when someone tried to describe the Isabel Marant "heeled sneakers" to me for the first time. Horrifying images of stiletto'd Converses and wedged up Jordans flashed through my mind. "No, you'd really love them!" No, I thought, you're really out of your damn mind. But of course after leaving 11th Street Bar I immediately hit Google and spent the next few months in a haze of Marant lust. So in order to keep our customers from suffering a similar fate -- although all of you are so cool that I bet you've already seen this trend done every which way -- we're going to take you through some of our favorite interpretations. By the way, we've just finished photographing our Spring/Summer collection Electromancer and there are so many styles that would fit so perfectly in this post. Dying to upload them but a lady has to have a few secrets. The evolution from tomboy to full on athletics began as mentioned earlier last fall with the release of a series of androgynous, menswear inspired looks. The trend even entered the realm of beauty as we saw the return of thick brows, slicked back hair and more natural, clean faces. Fall '11 also provided us with some military inspired wear, just another manly idea to add to the list. When Spring 2012 hit we really saw athleticism attack the runways. The looks were chic, minimalistic and functional. There was a very fine subtlety to the trend -- pieces were formfitting and superbly tailored. Marc Jacobs showed us preppy sport, expertly combining structured sweatshirts with highly feminine leather skirts. Alexander Wang RTW followed a similar path -- sporty on top, girly on the bottom -- by presenting a motocross inspired collection featuring big armed, '80s style athletic sweaters combined with skin tight skirts and heels. He also included a bunch of full mesh pieces, featuring a material that is primarily used in the sportswear industry. He even got a leg up on the rest of the fashion world by incorporating the peplum concept that is currently all over the Fall runways. Rag & Bone went heavy on the layering for Spring, and by incorporating lots of hoodies, water-resistant windbreakers and intimates as outerwear, the collection hit the nail on the head in prediction for what was to come. Various other designers went to the varsity locker room for inspiration and many attributed the influx of sports-inspo to the highly anticipated Summer Olympics. Athletics, and some of those athletes too meow, were on everyone's mind -- even our fashion designers. Stella McCartney was busy designing all of the athlete's uniforms for the games and it even seems that a bit of that work showed up in her Spring RTW with some sporty shapes and materials. [caption id="attachment_10511" align="aligncenter" width="456" caption="Prada AW11 thick runway brows"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10512" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Marc Jacobs Spring '12 RTW"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10514" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Alexander Wang Spring RTW"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10515" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Alexander Wang Spring RTW"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10516" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Alexander Wang Spring RTW"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10517" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Alexander Wang Spring RTW"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10518" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="rag & bone Spring RTW"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10519" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="rag & bone Spring RTW"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10520" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="rag & bone Spring RTW"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10521" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="rag & bone Spring RTW"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10513" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Stella McCartney & some of GB's Olympians in her designs"][/caption] Fast forward to now and we've got incredible athletic inspired looks both on the catwalk and the sidewalk. Decorative, patterned sports bras as tops, mesh insets, thick elastic straps, exposed zippers and buckles, hoods, racerbacks and cut out detailing are everywhere. Really though, our favorite aspect of the whole trend -- something that Rag & Bone touched on but didn't full commit to -- is the mixing of athletic shiny sweatpants, racing stripe down the side of course, with sophisticated tops and serious heels. Celine's Fall RTW & Resort '13 collections killed it with this concept. Obviously Celine is the queen of sophisticated sportswear, and this season Phoebe Philo really went for it. Matching black and white polka dot sweat suits with heels, white relaxed fit pants with orange racing stripes, slouchy black pants with exposed ankle-up zippers and athletic inspired high collar windbreaker type top -- the list goes on. And it's all paired with gorgeous heels, particularly the pointy white pumps. The look we covet the most? A sheer combo of white pants and a white tank with patterned shorts and tank shining through underneath. Rag & Bone flipped the look for Resort '13, placing the sophistication on top by sending models down the catwalk in finely tailored suits with sportswear style racing stripes running down the leg of the trousers. A gold blazer paired with a basic gray tee and racing stripe black pants really cemented the sporty feel of the collection. Alexander Wang went the most literal route, using tanks with mesh inserts, sports bras worn with leather pants and hoodies, suits with oversized blazers and just a black bandeau topped off with mesh heading upwards to form a crew neck. Wang has always retained a sporty feel to his collections so it makes sense that he would be the designer to go the farthest with it. [caption id="attachment_10500" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Alexander Wang Resort '13"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10501" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Alexander Wang Resort 13"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10502" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Alexander Wang Resort 13"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10503" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Alexander Wang Resort '13"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10504" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Celine Fall RTW '12"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10505" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Celine Resort '13"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10506" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Celine Fall RTW '12"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10507" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Celine Resort '13"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10508" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Celine Resort '13"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10509" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="rag & bone Resort '13"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10510" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="rag & bone Resort '13"][/caption] Style Sight did a trend report on neoprene -- a material that is showing up more and more in fast fashion. H&M is selling neutral and neon colored neoprene crew neck sweatshirts and stores like TopShop and Forever 21 are pushing great structured dresses made of the athletic based material. Street style has definitely picked up on the athletic idea, mixing all of the elements seen on runway but with that typical sidewalk edge to it. And you know, we gotta give Yolandi Vi$$er a little credit here too. As she's been catapulted to the international spotlight she's held on to her sexy sporty look and likely has influenced thousands of little Zef-heads to emulate the style. We actually tried to send Yolandi some shoes from our Electric Witches collection but the girl only wears trainers (one day we'll make them just for you Yolandi!!) [caption id="attachment_10523" align="aligncenter" width="1001" caption="Style Sight trend report for neoprene"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10524" align="aligncenter" width="467" caption="Yolandi Vi$$er & Ninja of Die Antwoord"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10526" align="aligncenter" width="331" caption="Caitlin Moe and Mia Moretti at the Montauk Topshop party -- sportsbra/cami combo in action"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10528" align="aligncenter" width="651" caption="Meg Gray"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_10529" align="aligncenter" width="652" caption="Alexandra Spencer in what The Man Repeller refers to as "Athletica""][/caption] So you've seen it all. From the highest of luxury down to what's going on with the mortals and now it's your turn. Go out and find that perfect pair of racing stripe athletic pants and start getting creative! And if you come up with anything extra incredible you know where to send it! ( -- and if you're wearing your Miistas you'll be entered to win our monthly giveaway for another pair!)