Know what’s made active sportswear charming is the addition of vivacious hues, quirky prints and edgy contours.
She is the undisputed sizzler of 70 MM, so when Bollywood diva Katrina Kaif decides to adopt a trend like sportswear, it catches on like wildfi re. This is just what happened after her dazzling kamli … song in Dhoom 3 with her ultra-short shorts and bra-lets won favour among the swish set. Sportswear is back in the limelight with international giants like Tom Ford paying a tribute to rapper Jay Z at the London Fashion Week 2014, in his own imitable style with a perkier version – a sequinned football jersey, making it the hottest ever fad to follow, with Indian style gurus following suit. The Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week was swamped with sportswear, with Masaba of Satya Paul taking the lead with skater dresses inspired by Scott Fitzgerald of The Great Gatsby, but with a sporty tweak. You could spot the sheer sweatshirts spiced up with gold and silver Banarasi embroidery and ribbed necklines.
“We did silk track pants and velvet-embroidered sports bras, along with bodysuits with sheer, polka dot cover-ups and check tennis shirts as I am a big fan of sportswear,” says fashion designer Masaba. Knitwear designer from NIFT, Yogesh Chaudhary of the label Surendri understands the dynamics of sportswear as his studies revolved around the use of such fabrics. With comfort coming back into fashion, as style sheds its ‘tight is right’ rule, sportswear is a trend that is here to stay.
Chaudhary’s 2004 graduating line was based on sportswear and aptly titled ‘Two T-shirts’, as he felt a tee is something every woman has in her wardrobe and that kind of became the metaphor for him. “All my prints were based on Argyle, which golfers wear, and is also a complex knitting pattern. We just added rangoli design geometry to them to rev up the appeal,” he added. Details like crew necks and raglan sleeves were added for a sporty palate, along with plastic (inserted into dresses for transparency) and acrylic earrings, which were inspired by visors that players use at play. “I also included lines on the sides of my trousers as homage to track pants. I used a lot of sportswear fabrics like jersey, polyester, cotton fleece and lycra to get the right feel for my line,” he explained.
Interestingly, Chaudhary took his love for sportswear a step ahead by adding scuba diving gear details to his sari-blouses. “Nonetheless, prints have always been my story; so tees with hash tag motifs became a rage adding quirkiness to a casual wear,” he smiled. Shweta Kapur of the label 431-88 began with the ideology of giving a relaxed feel to her ensemble and she could only do this with a little help from sportswear. She decided to create her sweatshirts in luxury fabrics like silk, not addressing the needs of a gym-goer, but certainly aiming to dress women, who were looking for easy clothing which could take them from a 9-to-5 p.m. day and extend it a bit longer. “If you are wearing a jersey dress, you can just add a blazer to it in the evening and you are set to go, as there is no time to change so many times in a day,” she added. However, Kapur did make it a point to add vivacious hues to it as there is so much more energy you give a garment that way. “I used the mesh in sportswear and converted it into a cool dress, but I didn’t make the most obvious shorts out of it to give my line some unpredictability,” she said.
Inspired by Kaif’s ingenious layering in the Kamli chart topper in Dhoom 3, Kapur introduced ingenious bra-lets and sheer tees with pants that could be alternated with a natty jacket in the evenings. “Sportswear infl uences have made fashion more roomy and congenial, where body-hugging silhouettes are losing their shine and slouch is coming back to rule the catwalk,” she added. The queen of sportswear, in India is undeniably Namrata Joshipura, who has worked with Adidas Originals Jeremy Scott winged wonders to create lines which are steeped in her love for athletics. “I am a runner, and have been doing so for many years. Sportswear comes naturally to me, so you will always see shorts, tracks and sweatshirts in my repertoire,” she admitted.
So, the icicle tee and net skirt or the metal shorts have been her constant companions in her ‘The Wanderer’ line. “Sporty chic is what has been my philosophy. The Indian woman has really evolved. She wants clothes that kind of make her look gorgeous but are also easy to wear. That’s why I have had collaborations with sports brands, as they fi t into what I think is in. I would encourage young designers to actively pursue sportswear, as therein actually lies the future of fashion,” she concluded. With the hectic lifestyles we lead, sportswear will not remain just a trend; it will is bound to become a necessity!