shop report?

image sourced from: angela-lindvall

just a little field research on the trend i support most…sportswear…  here is  that writing i promised earlier in the week… i die.

Designers are kicking off the fall season with athletic intentions.  Whether this sporty trend is a product of America’s “Go Green” movement, a reflection of the current economic climate, or just designers meeting the lifestyle needs of the modern woman on the go, the presence of athletic inspired clothing in fashion this fall is undeniable.

History has shown that American designers are inclined to deviate from overstated international trends during hard economic times.  This tendency can be traced back to the depression era.  In the 1950’s women shifted to a more androgynous dress code – wearing pants, which for the time was very progressive.  Every decade women’s fashion trends reflect evolving gender roles.  Today, the modern woman is active, powerful, strong, and comfortable in her skin.  Modern apparel with athletic influence in the market empowers women while still managing to be playful, quirky, and effortlessly stylish.  In order to understand the presence of active wear in the fashion market this season, I decided to hit popular labels Alexander Wang, boutique Nike store at 21 Mercer, Missoni, and Uniqlo all in the heart of SOHO.

Urban and layered silhouettes were essential to Alexander Wang’s contemporary collection this season.  Each piece offered innovative tailoring for staple pieces in any woman’s wardrobe.  The cut out trend was present in many pieces with missing pockets and panels. A Wang was playing with length and structure.  Cropped shirts and blazers, long coats, and vests were just a few garments with unconventional length.  All silhouettes were lean with an assortment of layered garments – in fact, the more the merrier this fall.  Among the clothes were tailored take on the Harem pant trend and cuffed tuxedo inspired pants.   Every piece has it’s own unique character – examples being: exposed underwear, hood, attached accessories, suspender, snap on pockets.  It seems that color was the only thing not pushing creative boundaries with most pieces in a hue of gray or black with the occasional pop of color. The knits range depending on garment piece from chunky to sheer.  To make things even more interesting, there was a wide variety of fabric used in this range – Chiffon, chenille, silk twill, velvet, flannel, pin stripe, lace, knits, and leather were mixed together unexpectedly.  The kind of unexpected surprise that has you take a double-take.

Nike 21 Mercer is the Nike brand’s first stand-alone store of its kind – with emphasis on special collections and customization it is a sportswear boutique.  Nike housed athletic silhouettes with a focus on style and function.  Pieces are suggested to be layered but are also represented alone in modern displays.  In the current fall collection, there are inventive variations on collegiate looks including the classic letterman jacket, raincoat, and hoodie zip up.  The modifications on these gym junkies’ go-to pieces are found in the details.  For example, hoodies were made to look modern with elongated turtleneck-like-zip in the front.  The silhouettes in Nike 21 Mercer were sleek, metropolitan, and fashion forward.  The space was abundant with bright-saturated colors.  Royal blues, orangey reds, and khaki tones seemed to be the primary color scheme for the fall season.  Most pieces were a solid color with complimentary colors accenting seams, pockets, and other details.

Maybe I was seeking the athletic clothing upon inspection however, it appeared that this trend also resonated with the oh-so-chic Missoni.  A large photograph displayed at the back of the store showcased a girl wearing a clingy short dress jumping in an action shot.  Missoni also had a unique take on sporty trends with knit leg warmers and shirts shaped like oversized work out clothing.  Also arm bands that look similar to NBA sports team. Fitted simple pieces that can be worn individually or layered to give an urban silhouette.  Missoni’s collection did seem to be more diluted than previous seasons, which may be the brands safety net during the current economic crisis felt around the world. The colors in the pre-fall collection are warm honey tones (nudes to baby pink) with hints of color (turquoise & orangey-red).  The spectrum of colors in the knit print adds versatility to each garment.  Black was a popular accent and used liberally in the range of knits.  The use of black ensures purchases because women can wear black with anything.

Variety is the spice of life, right?  At least that was the message Uniqlo was conveying to their customers with an enormous collection of clothing that spanned three floors at their SOHO location.  The clothing in Uniqlo store ranged from sportswear to designer influenced ranges (current collections designed by Jil Sanders).  With so much going on I decided to consult the Uniqlo website for further insight to the brands story. Uniqlo is all about “component wear”, providing clients with options and the opportunity to mix and match to achieve their unique personal style.  So really any silhouette imaginable is achievable.  On display they showcase modern, lively, and youthful silhouettes layered in Uniqlo garb. There were garments in every color of the rainbow.  If you are looking for livable outfit in any hue, black, gray, white, or denim then it’s time to shop Uniqlo.  Oh yes, did I mention it is affordable?!

Quirky chic sportswear seems to be all the rage this season.  This could be to ease tensions and distract from national political and financial issues.  Brands today are focusing on not only the trends but also lifestyle and personality of their target customers.  Designers also appear to be taking dress less seriously by injecting a healthy dose of playful spirit.  Women today dress to push fashion limits in garments that cater to their busy lifestyles without compromising style.  Fashion houses are catering to these needs while still ensuring sales by producing these fashion forward garments in popular colors with fabrics that the customer trusts.

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