Ever since the baseball jacket and jogger pant landed on the high-street some time ca. Spring Summer 2011 (a move prompted by the collections of the likes of Damir Doma, Tim Hamilton and Lanvin), fashion’s steadily shaken off its hesitation in embracing sportswear. With this Summer’s London Olympics currently in full swing, the once tenuous relationship between practical, utlitarian sportswear and the fickle vogue-ing nature of fashion matures into an aesthetic partnership that’s more love-in than long-distance.
It’s hardly surprising really, considering the men’s market has been dominated almost exclusively by the storied fashion house and heritage brand for several seasons up this point, coinciding with a cultural reconfiguration of masculinity in the shape of the call for the ‘modern dandy’ (Church’s brogues, bespoke suit, facial hair, foppish overall effect). But fashion is a cyclical beast, and the traditionally intransigent men’s fashion market is gradually closing the gap between itself and the dramatic seasonal shifts to be seen on the womenswear runways.
It’s not that the focal points of the contemporary fop are wiped clean off the slate (and indeed, street), but that menswear now looks to a more tech-y, refined (not necessarily in the sense of elegance, but purified) and pragmatic mode of dressing.
Sources of sartorial inspiration are now found in a men’s Olympic sports uniform, the varsity staples of American football and baseball, and in brands once thought too ubiquitous to be considered markers of style (Nike, Adidas and New Balance).
Granted, it’s all speculation, so here’s a few visual insights into the observation which might help in making some sense of the above…
^ From top: a shot from retailing giant Topman‘s latest retorial shoot coinciding with the commencement of the London Olympics, On Your Marks; global blogging success Pelayo Diaz in an eclectic mix of Céline, Topman sports shorts and Supreme baseball cap; looks from cult favourite NYC boutique Opening Ceremony‘s latest collaboration with Adidas; Russian Olympic athletes in what I reckon is the best Olympic uniform designed by Russian retailer Bosco Sport.
Images from Topman, Kate Loves Me, Opening Ceremony and NY Daily News