Written by Peyton Haahr
Image Courtesy of NY Times
If we had to pick one trend that has been the most expansive across all generations, ages and people groups – it would have to be the ‘athleisure’ one. Its central influencer was the yoga pant, heightened by a push for cooler, more fashion-forward workout clothing…even if you never actually exercised. For many, the increase in new athletic wear was a plus, but few predicted that it would spread outside the athlete-only ropes and come to be worn for almost any activity outside the gym. Yoga pants were worn every which way with shirts and sweaters and heels, running shoes became the everyday footwear go-to. But don’t fear – our high-fashion overlords stepped in before things got too out of hand. Some of the greats stepped up to the plate and gave us a grand slam of athleisure-inspired pieces that still make us feel fit and healthy, but also like we’re headed to an invite-only fashion show or an upscale dinner with friends.
Louis Vuitton’s collab with Supreme, a streetwear giant, signaled the final melding of high fashion and skate-culture-origin street style. Because of fusions like this, street-inspired fashion has been rapidly growing alongside an almost billion dollar sneaker market. The French house incorporated bits of athletic style into their looks, showing off some chic track and running shorts, as well as debuting the ‘Arclight’ sneaker, a shoe with a rather exaggerated sole. Embroidered coats were draped over these flowy shorts, ones that you wouldn’t ever wear to go on a run, but it will make it look like you do. Fake it till you make it, right? Racing stripe dresses were featured, bearing long sleeves and high necks, in reds and blues that stood out alongside metallic sneakers. The best way to get in on this trend without sacrificing too much of your own personal style is with this footwear. The ‘Arclight’ sneakers featured on the LV runway are stylish and incredibly unique. Their profile isn’t something that screams wealth or money, but rather shows an upgraded version of a relatively simple shoe. They come in a variety of colors, and can be worn with your favorite jeans or that cute mini dress you’ve been wanting to wear.
Louis Vuitton Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear; photos courtesy Kim Weston Arnold / Indigital.tv
At Isabel Marant, swimsuits and windbreakers got special treatment, as they were paired with high-waisted pants and stylish flip-slops. Since bodysuits have taken flight over the past few seasons, being re-introduced into workwear closets and vacation suitcases alike, it is clear that swimsuits can serve a similar purpose. Marant added swim-team inspired suits under metallic pants, made of similar fabric to a windbreaker, giving them an athletic-looking sheen. She also incorporated crocheted swimsuit bottoms with cropped windbreakers for a vacation and resort-ready look. While most of us look forward to not working out on our vacation days, it doesn’t mean you have to ditch the comfort or durability of your favorite workout gear. A stylish jacket can be thrown over your swimsuit like on the runway or added to a pair of jean shorts and graphic tee. The high quality fabric helped make the looks not appear strictly athletic focused, but all incorporated a very healthy dosage of high fashion in them.
Isabel Marant Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear 2018; photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv
In our opinion, the brand to best encompass this trend in its totality is probably Fenty X Puma. Rihanna has built a mega-brand that shows up to fashion weeks complete with BMX bikers and mountains of pink sand. This year, she brought in a boatload of surf and skate inspirations, pushing the athleisure trend out of its yoga pants and spandex phase. Billowy track pants and bike shorts took center stage alongside belt-bags and leather biker jackets. Even flip-flop stilettos made their appearance – and yes, you read that right. Flop-Flop. Stilettos. Crazy. Many pieces featured racer stripes and numbers, making it look the models just finished up the Tour de France or just won the X-games. Either way, her introduction of long bike shorts jumpstarted that trend, and oversized sweatshirts and jackets continued their climb. Along with their affordable pricing, Rihanna’s clothing is incredibly wearable. They have flair, sure, but a pair of fancier track pants can be worked into an evening look, or bike shorts can be a go-to summer look if you aren’t into short-shorts. Each of the pieces feels more high-end than it is, and can be dressed up or dressed down for whatever occasion you need it for. You can channel the California coast and the fashion-conscious daredevil we all hope to be at some point, simultaneously.
Fenty X Puma Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear; photos courtesy Luca Tombolini / Indigital.tv
It truly is time to chuck those old, worn-out yoga pants and sneakers and apply for an upgrade. The ‘Athleisure’ trend is far from over, and it’s safe to say it’ll be sticking around for the foreseeable future. The high-fashion brands are dipping their toes in the athletics-inspired pool, and bringing a little of its magic to the runways. Sneakers have taken off as a result, and are becoming one of the top footwear pieces in the game. Tracksuits a la Juicy couture are being reinvented, and the once cringe-worthy fanny pack has been rebranded as the now covetable ‘belt-bag’.
For us, the best thing about this trend is that you don’t actually have to workout to get in on it. Jogging keeps you healthy, yes, but we suggest a more fashion-focused cardio workout… like heading to mall. We’ll see you there.