New York Fashion Week kicked off with an invigorating show from Athleta. Their mix of fashion and athletic wear was a spectacularly choreographed presentation by Luam Keflezgy, choreographer to Britney Spears and Beyonce Knowles.
I was so excited to see this fashion show. To call the athletes/dancers “models” seems to diminish them. The runway was literally a “run” way as the women ran, pilates-posed, danced and stretched their way to demonstrate the performance ability of the clothing.
A traditional catwalk with emaciated models to show athletic wear just seems silly. This was a
non-stop show of energy, strength and flexibility from women with muscle and stamina. The athletes took us through parkour, aerobics, hip hop, contemporary dance, trampoline work, bosu ball, pilates, all the way through to aerials at the end.
The impressive technical features of the clothing are precisely the ones you don’t see. These women had to be sweating, but the moisture wicking fabric would never let you see that. Super-stretchy technical fabrics and focused support allowed the women to move the way they did.
As for the fashion itself? If the show did happen to be just a traditional runway, the sporty chic looks styled by Zanna Roberts Rassi would have perfect on streets of Manhattan between gym and brunch, cocktails and yoga. The lightweight workout jackets had flattering lines. The comfortable pants were offered in great colors and prints. Trend-driven pieces like longer bras with artful straps, high waisted skinny pants and slouchy cover-ups make the collection look more lifestyle-oriented. They just have the added bonus of being built to workout.
I would love to say this show drove me straight to the gym afterwards. Mentally, it absolutely did. However, it’s fashion week, so back in the pit I go…
photos by Mariana Leung