Sportswear Revolution in Fashion

Adidas by Stella McCartney
© Adidas by Stella McCartney

Wearing sneakers with a tailored suit or dress, casual jogging bottoms and sweaters – once an absolute no-go, today these dress styles barely cause a raised eyebrow, even in the office.

The concept of being well-dressed has undergone gradual but consistent change in the fashion world. Combinations and outfits that used to be considered outrageous have slowly become accepted. Sportswear is the engine behind this development. It breaks with the old rules and is revolutionising the entire approach to fashion.

Schuhmesse GDS Düsseldorf Schuhmesse GDS Düsseldorf | © Rene Tillmann Does this phenomenal change means the end of style and elegance in fashion? Certainly not! This is not about the simple transition of sportswear into everyday wear, as so often assumed, the aim is to draw inspiration from these two poles, to combine them and create something entirely new. There is definitely still no sign of jogging bottoms becoming the accepted thing because the trousers referred to as such today actually have very little in common with the jogging trousers originally designed for practical purposes.

Origin & Inspiration

The initial idea that triggered this new trend came from the United States. New York and the New York Fashion Week have always put an emphasis on more sporty interpretations in comparison with parallel events held in Europe. This influence from sportswear had a major impact on international runway shows: with regard to materials and colour, tailoring workmanship and details up to functionality such as neon colours and neon accents, engineered materials, ultra-light and coated materials as well as mesh inserts, neoprene and protection details. Surfaces and structures familiar from the active-wear sector were taken up and the tailoring included more and more zippers, drawstrings and elastic bands.

Adidas Originals ZX Flux Summer 2014 © Adidas Originals ZX Flux Summer 2014, Photo: Robert Brooks A definite reference to sportswear was also evident in the silhouette: here bomber jackets and blousons, sweatshirts and jogging-inspired bottoms, caps and most importantly sneakers dominated the runways. The influences frequently came from American sport disciplines, particularly baseball and football, however, swimming wear and ski clothing details were also to be seen on the catwalks.

Hybrids

Adidas by Stella McCartney © Adidas by Stella McCartney The truly new trend in this fashion style was the clear break with classic elements. Here, for instance, we find interpretations of sporty blousons in traditional men’s fabrics, sweatshirts combined with flared skirts and the casual dress designed with a drawstring and a hood made of the finest leather.

These hybrid designs, such as Isabel Marant’s popular sneaker-wedge, fuse both sporty and feminine elements in a completely new form. Also the classic men’s Brogues and Penny Loafers shoe styles embrace a new look: rubber soles and a colourful accent, as well as unusual materials to create new models that excellently combine sporty and classic features.
Adidas by Pharrell Williams © Adidas by Pharrell Williams This is also the direction in which some trouser styles are heading. They look a bit like jogging bottoms but are tailored from silk, wool or other high quality materials and merely resemble the cut of the original design with some of its fastening solutions. The same applies to feminine blouson interpretations that resemble baseball jackets, yet feature a delicate and meticulously crafted lace design to create a completely new look that has nothing to do with a functional sports outfit. The sneaker is the main champion of this movement and excels with countless styles that can be paired with almost anything shaping a wardrobe: whether classically elegant and restrained or hip, young and progressive.

Arctic, Winter 2014/15 Arctic, Winter 2014/15 | © RIANI These hybrid designs hold the key to cross-generational acceptance – and this makes the style so popular. It is particularly Germany that has introduced popular and trendy sneaker models into the international market place – Adidas ranks as one of the hottest brands and is renowned for creating hype in the global market through celebrity endorsement.

Stella McCartney, Jeremy Scott, Kanye West and also trendsetter and music star Pharrell Williams – the Franconia-based company draws on the American celebrity scene like a magnet.

Puma is another company that excellently manages the balancing act between functional sports models and life-style designs.

There is a broad interpretation of mixed classic and sports designs to be found in total outfits as well, and this trend is conquering new heights as a street phenomenon. Those who want to look well-dressed can now safely turn to sneakers or sweaters.