A sweaty gym room might be the last place to look for fashion inspirations but this summer of 2014 designers have proved us wrong. Even though casual smart as a concept has been revisited many times in the world of fashion, this time it’s the aesthetics of activewear that has got designers inspired across the world. Be it Alexander Wang’s crop-tops paired with short tennis skirts or Prada’s summer collection replete with ribbed skirts and varsity stripes. Closer home, designers have followed suit. Here are the key elements of the trend and how you can incorporate them into your summer wardrobe.
Summer has been a scorcher this year and if you are shy of lugging a parasol to your afternoon luncheon, the baseball cap is your answer. Moving away from its sporty look, the cap has emerged in a stylish avatar complete with glittering embellishments as those seen in designer Sanchita Ajjampur’s summer collection of accessories.
“The sportswear theme has moved from the simple, clinical looks of previous seasons to take on a luxurious, glamorous edge,” admits Ajjampur, who suggests pairing baseball caps with an embellished sweatshirt. If the cap is not your cup of tea, you can go for the visor, as those worn by golfing daddies on the course. Designer Tanya Sharma of the label GaGa presented the look stylishly well at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2014 as did Shweta Kapur of the label 431-88. “For Spring-Summer 2014 we designed caps with jewellery encrusted on them,” says Kapur.
Chic in a sweatshirt
Who would have thought that the sweatshirt would one day go on to become a style staple? This summer, it’s definitely a must-have to complete your sports luxe look. And it’s far from boring. In the hands of Sanchita Ajjampur and Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty of the label Huemn, the sweatshirt emerges ultra-glam.
“We wanted to explore luxury in comfort and comfort in luxury and hence zeroed down on sportswear. The idea is not to do a complete sporty look but elements of it,” says Mishra, who combined graphic wordplay with shimmer in the collection. The sweatshirt, he adds, works best with a fitted pencil skirt. For a more fun and casual look, team up with basketball shorts albeit those in silk.
The bomber jacket
No longer a prerogative for winters, the bomber jacket has made its place in the summer closet as well. Noticeable in summer collections by designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi and designer Anushka Khanna, the bomber is comfortable yet chic. Pankaj and Nidhi rightly paired theirs with cutesy tennis skirts
“The key to the sports luxe trend is to make sure it looks polished and not sloppy,” feels designer Anushka Khanna as she goes on to add, “Instead of jersey, I worked with silk, satin, georgette as well as ribbing to add a luxe element to sporty separates.” Khanna has used gold lame for her summer bomber jackets that work best over an evening dress or with jeans during the day.
Right on track
Track pants epitomise comfort. And sportified urban elegance seems to be the mantra this summer. “With fitness and being healthy becoming an important aspect of our lifestyle, we are moving towards a sharper, leaner and cleaner, aesthetic. It is perfectly acceptable to wear track pants or team a dress with sneakers and go for dinner,” says Kapur, whose label 431-88 offers a luxurious take on sportswear.
Agrees designer Yogesh Chaudhary of the label Surendri. The summer essentials at Surendri include hoodies and track pants along with evening dresses in mesh fabrics with ribbed collars. “In terms of formal wear we tried to be playful and change the detailing and fabrics of our evening wear into a sporty silhouette. We even did some fun sporty shararas,” says Chaudhary, who suggests choosing slim track pants and slacks that come with sportswear trims.
Sneak them in
Swapping your stilettos with sneakers is now the done thing. “But the idea is to pair them with the right outfit,” says designer Namrata Joshipura whose collections have always reflected her love for the outdoors and running in particular.
At Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2014, she infused sensuality into sportswear by teaming sequined hot pants with sneakers with a hint of bling. “Sneakers can also be worn with a long dress or pencil skirt,” adds Mishra. Sneakers also gave Masaba Gupta’s summer ensembles a fun vibe at WIFW SS 14.