In their Fall 21 collections, designers are taking inspiration from the sports world. Athleisure is once again one of the strongest trends of the season.
Every four years—five this time due to the pandemic–the world becomes obsessed with sports. I am referring to that Olympic spirit we all feel whether our country is hosting the Games or just participating in them. For two weeks, the most important thing is showing your support for your country. But this sports love goes beyond celebrating and watching all our favorite competitions on TV or YouTube. Many of us are also thinking about how to bring some Olympic flair into our wardrobes. Athleisure has gone from being a passing trend to a lifestyle. These are everyday garments for a variety of occasions.
Before, people made their fashion choices based on the events that they were attending, wearing a day dress to go to brunch or a gown at a gala. Sportswear was only worn at the gym or aerobic studios. But as our lives became more chaotic, we started to seek out garments that could go from day to night, from the gym to the office with just a few adjustments to our accessories. This necessary versatility helped sportswear go from gym looks to all-the-time looks. Slowly (and quietly), athleisure became part of our everyday lives.
The world of sportswear has always been intriguing for luxury designers. The sportswear and athleisure industry plays a leading role in the technological advances in textiles. Just think about Lycra, water-repellant fabrics, and those that are resistant to heat or help regulate body temperature. All these advances get transferred to the world of high fashion because they allow designers create new pieces that weren’t previously possible.
For the Fall 21 season, designers have definitely been inspired by different Olympic looks. The resulting pieces are athleisure looks worthy of any professional athlete. Whether intentional, unconsciously, or by sheer chance, the collections and clothes coming out this season are very inspired by sports such as athletics, gymnastics, tennis, skiing, football, and others.
Dolce & Gabbana gave us a modern take on football jerseys, with shades of gold and silver making these pieces perfect for a night out in Miami. Claudia Li combined her creative DNA with tennis trends, dressing models in striped blouses and brightly-colored skirts. Then, there were modern interpretations of outfits worn by track and field runners in the Lacoste, Missoni, PH5 and Xuly.Bët collections. Designers like Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood and Roland Mouret gave us silhouettes that remind us of the gorgeous looks worn by gymnasts. Marc Jacobs and David Koma created avant-garde representations of taekwondo and boxing looks, respectively, which are perfect for everyday wear. Finally, we saw even more interpretations of sportswear, this time with a nod to the Winter Olympics, from Kenzo, Miu Miu and Stella McCartney. These pieces are sure to become cold-weather favorites.
Athleisure is no longer just a thing of the world of sports; it’s an essential part of the world of luxury. Runway trends influence sportswear and vice versa, and sportswear is a great source of inspiration for the trends we see on the catwalks. Without a doubt, our Fall 21 wardrobes will be worthy of gold medals.