On your marks...
What with the footie and the Olympics, this is the perfect time for sport and fashion to join forces, writes ROSEMARY MAC CABE
IF YOU THINK the current trend for sports-inspired pieces started with Lana del Rey and her love of baseball jackets, you’d be wrong. And, in a way, right. Although luxe sportswear is a trend that returns time and time again, del Rey thrust it into the spotlight in a way it hadn’t been seen before, juxtaposing high-end sports-inspired pieces with a 1950s Americana that called to mind James Dean, that bowling scene in Grease 2 and A League of Their Own, the under-rated 1992 film starring none other than Madonna.
For the fashion industry, del Rey was a blessing in disguise – long before she began crooning about video games and singing in people’s back yards, Stella McCartney was putting the finishing touches to her spring 2012 collection, all racerback necklines and sporty nylons; Victoria Beckham was sending models down her runway in oversized parkas; Alexander Wang was producing yet another sports-luxe collection, just waiting for the public appetite to rise up and meet him.
And so it has – this season has seen a wide variety of sporty touches, from Isabel Marant’s wedge trainers (yes, we’re still talking about them) to mesh, bodycon and contrast-stripe pieces all over the high-street. This is a trend that’s going to run and run (get it?) – mix it up like Iro, with a bomber jacket over your girly dress; or go for DKNY’s method and try a more feminine pattern in a traditionally masculine shape. Mix and match your high-end with your high-street – try out T by Alexander Wang’s jersey skirt with a pair of Nike Frees and Marks Spencer’s peach vest for size.
But be warned; this kind of sportswear is not, heaven forbid, for exercising in. Keep things cool, in more ways than one.
Brand focus: Won Hundred
Bio:This Danish company was founded by Nikolaj Nielsen, a designer with a background in denim, in Copenhagen in 2004.
In 2006 the brand launched its first jeans collection; by 2007 it had sold 30,000 pairs of one style. In 2010, Won Hundred opened its first store in Copenhagen. Its second, in Aarhus, was opened this year.
Aesthetic: The collections are based on the ideals of men’s tailoring and classic formalwear, with a focus on minimalism and clean lines. Expect a very neutral colour palette, with statements being made in terms of shape and – the buzzword of the moment – austerity. Patterns are kept to a minimum and bright colour is the exception, rather than the rule.
Stockists: At Urban Outfitters stores or online at wonhundred.com.
Price tag:Expect to pay upwards of €100 for most items; a white button-up tee will cost €55 while a pair of leather sandals will set you back €250.
Reader query Looking hot in your leather
I have a significant birthday coming up (not 40, not 60) and I have decided to invest in a leather jacket. Can you point me in the right direction? Black, collarless, non-cuffed sleeves, asymmetrical zip (not gold or concealed if it is) not too many other zips or fussiness – too tall an order?
B, by email
Leather jackets are one of the trickiest items to get right, possibly because they are an investment – and we never want to spend a significant portion of our expendable income if we’re not 100 per cent in love with the purchase.
I could, of course, advise being freer with one’s spending, and casting all thoughts of perfection aside, but I do have a few suggestions. Bear in mind, however, that this is not leather-jacket season – and the best advice of all would be to wait for autumn, and keep an eye on eBay.
This shrunken number by G Star Raw (left, reduced to €550 at LittlewoodsIreland.ie) is collarless, missing the cuffed sleeves and has asymmetrical zip detailing.
This leather jacket from Marian Gale in Donnybrook (right, €599) is black and collarless, although it does have cuffed sleeves and is lacking your asymmetrical zip – but it gets points for its classic, non-boxy shape.
Lastly, Reiss’s Marli jacket (inset right, €490) has an assymetric zip, no cuffs and is a sumptuous black leather. Unfortunately, it has a collar, but the lesson to take from this is that, in life, as in leather jackets, you can’t have everything.
Read Rosemary Mac Cabe’s fashion blog Fash Mob at irishtimes.com/blogs