Sunday, August 14, 2016

Lovely in Athleisure

Adidas by Stella McCartney Fall 2016
Walking through the mall, grocery store or local Target, I can’t help but notice the number of girls and women dressed as if they’re ready for the next Pure Barre class. But as they walk the store aisles sipping their Starbucks, you know as well as I do they are not all about to workout.
No longer are sports bras, spandex or sweatpants limited to the confines of the gym. But rather they have become the new normal as a part of the athleisure trend. We see models sporting the look on the streets of LA and NYC, mixing leggings and running shoes with crop tops and leather jackets.





Unlike the uniform from high school gym class of a white t-shirt and blue cotton shorts, athletic wear from brands like Adidas by Stella McCartney and Kate Hudson’s Fabletics can stand on its own as fashion.

Though Lululemon has been credited with establishing the athleisure trend, blending athletic designs with luxury loungewear, I’d like to point out that the trend began long before Lululemon told us to “sweat once a day to regenerate our skin.” 
 As women in the late 1800s were finding new ways to express themselves through sports and clothing, corsets fell to the wayside and a new feminine ideal was embodied by the Gibson Girl.
She was beautiful, enjoyed a good game of golf and nice bicycle rides. She pursued her growing interest in athletics with a new freedom of clothing that extended well beyond the stringent dress code of the Victorian era. The Gibson Girl was no longer confined by her corset or bustle, but instead wore more relaxed silhouettes with fewer layers that allowed her to move and enjoy new activities.
 Polo Ralph Lauren Fall 2016
This is strikingly similar to the breakout athleisure trend. Women are seeking new levels of comfort as their lives begin to embrace a variety activities that range from a workout, to grocery shopping, to dropping the kids off at school to having dinner with friends. As more activities enter our daily regiment, it’s only natural that our clothes reflect all the activities we pursue, sports-related or not.
Lacoste Fall 2016 

A.L.C. Fall 2016
Sport-infused accessories and pieces are prevalent on the runways and collections, with sneakers being paired with dresses, leggings worn as pants and team uniform inspired stripes adorning tops.

The Aganovich designs are a blend of Victorian elegance and modern day athleisure street style.
I can imagine the 1890s Gibson Girl headed to the golf course in one of these designs…she surely would have turned some heads.
So next time you head to SoulCycle to battle the bulge and gain some endorphins, imagine a Gibson Girl on the bike next to you…and be thankful she helped break fashion boundaries so you can pedal in time with the music without tripping over a bustle.
Runway photos: Vogue.com 

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