NYFW’s Athletic-Chic Motif

Jen KaoChanneling their inner-athletic dreams, designers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week are playing on the same team with a sport-savvy twist on ready-to-wear façades. The spring/summer ’12 collections flirt with an athletic-chic aesthetic that suggests the glamour girls of last summer will be tomboys by next year.

At Monique Lhuillier, VPL and Helmut Lang, a subtle approach to the common trend is seen in body-conscious pieces where athleticism and physical fitness served as the foundation for snug, body-hugging and midriff-baring pieces. Jen Kao used street-smart sneakers to coquettishly address the fad when paired against floral frocks and feminine corsetry—an obvious imitation of the urban athletic aesthetic. Other collections embraced the elegant side of this recreational motif with overstated innuendos seen in Alexander Wang’s dresses in technical fabrics and Altuzarra’s jackets fit for a skiing holiday in Aspen. Elsewhere, jockey jerseys and polo dresses were shown at Ruffian, rugby shirts were featured at Lacoste and DKNY dramatized the runway with tennis-inspired dresses. Appropriately so, sport-themed lines like Y-3 are easily in tune to the latest signature.

The trend effortlessly blurs the line between work and play with truly elegant renditions of sport-couture references. Functional and fantastically fashionable, this active look is sure to carry on suitable momentum next year.