Does Athleisure have a place in luxury fashion?

Hi all…I’m back with another post on a topic that many that write and speak about fashion have very strong opinions about.

Athleisure which to me is the idea of fashion that goes from the gym to the street. The clothing can often appear to be gym wear but a closer look at fabrics and style suggest you can go out and about with these items. Take P.E Nation for example there clothes seem often too good for the gym and not really practical for those that actually like to sweat when working out.

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I have to be completely honest with you all, I’m writing this in a cafe sitting in my most comfy Lululemon leggings. These ones I don’t wear to the gym at all they are just worn for care free days.

With that background it seems that the luxury fashion brands of Gucci & Fendi etc… are jumping on board this trend and adapting it into their collections. Some brands are going one step further by having collaborations with brands that are only in the realm of streetwear or sportswear. A prime example is Louis Vuitton x Supreme. Supreme being a very popular skateboarding company that has expanded into streetwear. There is also the Fendi and Fila collaboration which I like and seems to be more readily available to when they dropped the LV x Supreme collection.

So this trend is clearly here but many in the fashion industry are of the view that it cheapens the brand and does not feel inline with luxury that these houses exude. In some ways I can understand this as these brands have a large history that have been ingrained in tradition; from the way they produce haute couture, the existence of their factories to the many that don’t have e-commerce websites.

But change is often slow and as the new generation of luxury buyers coming up can afford not only accessories but ready-to-wear so brands need to cater for what they are wanting in the market. These buyers don’t just want classic flap bags in black or tweed jackets but a brighter colour range as well as innovation that keeps inline with the brands aesthetic but puts a twist on it. So far I think Gucci is doing the best job with this as they often look to their archives but add something very modern to it as well.  I’m really digging their take on the tracksuit.

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Brands like Off-White are doing great things for the streetwear fashion industry but many are questioning whether they can be considered high fashion. We all know Virgil Abloh is the head of Louis Vuitton menswear and has made waves in that space but Off-White who knows?!?! I personally think the likes of Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada are in a league of their own and so Off-White would never compete with their bags or clothing. I mean who could say a Lady Dior and an Off-White binder clip bag are on the same level.

For me I have nothing against high-end luxury brands going forward and making collaborations with other labels and putting out collections that are more streetwear looking. This is a sign of change and in fashion nothing stays the same, yes the Chanel classic flap and Lady Dior will always be there and most people will still be drawn to the likes of these. But why not cater for the next generation with something in the look and feel of the brand with the same quality that challenges the status quo.

To those that hate athleisure in the luxury market just don’t buy it is my view.

What are all of your thoughts? Comment below.

xx – the expat

FYI – Black Friday sales are on so get onto it quick as things will go!

 

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Evolving Style

Hi everyone…

I’ve been thinking about the changes in my style since I’ve moved to a tropical island. There is one major thing that stands out to me I prefer comfort over style. For one, I like slides rather than strappy sandles that I would love in a Melbourne summer. My go to these days are my Birkenstocks not the greatest but so comfy as I walk the uneven roads and ride a scooter around town.

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Actual clothing wise there is not a piece of denim anywhere to be seen. While jeans even in summer in a city can be worn, here it just seems constricting and uncomfortable. I do own pants but there are always of a lighter cotton or linen material that doesn’t sit so tight to the skin.

I’m also very aware that the sort of style I go for in Melbourne, the minimalist vibe doesn’t translate well here. I can’t really get away with the high-waisted “mom” trousers and white tuxedo shirt or simple turtleneck. It doesn’t look the same when you walk by the beach everyday or when you head to get a quick foot massage. These days I’m loving my 90s slip dresses something that can be thrown on when I have no idea what to wear. My go tos also include many simple off the shoulder tops (you know the ones I’m talking about) and a maxi-esque skirt; or dare I say it denim shorts but they have to be high waisted and not too tight around the legs lol.  As you can see I’ve put a lot of thought into this.

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The other thing is I’ve deviated from my color palette. I tend to favour neutrals such as black, white, grey, camel and all the tones in between these colours. This has been the biggest shock to me as I see myself going for yellows and I’m not talking mustard but bright yellows. I have experimented with color when going to an occasion but on an everyday basis it was always a no from me. I’m also loving floral patterns and prints. Although nothing too feminine such as dainty florals so the patterns and florals have to be different and BOLD. Something that screams ME!!!!

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Obviously there is not much designer related stuff I wear here. This includes even high street brands like Witchery or Seed. I also very much avoid designer bags here as well but if I do it is something that can be easily cleaned and not so delicate such as my Chloe Faye mini backpack and my Prada Gardener tote in canvas. These are all good choices here and mix in well with the beach chic vibe I’m going for! More and more I’m loving rattan style bags that are hand made in Bali. I love that I’m supporting those that are making them here and ensuring that they can make a living. I love talking to the shop owners and learning about the history of what they do!

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The one thing I’m noticing more and more is from what I see coming out of Europe and the US now that it is summer there. There seems to be a high rate of adoption in booth the low end and high end for straw and rattan bags. For example, Mango are selling those round rattan bags for twice the price you can get it for here. Sportsgirl are doing the same thing back home too. The other thing I noticed is basket bags are huge there so if you are interested in being ahead of the trend once summer hits in Australia I suggest trying to make your way to Bali. All these basket and rattan bags are here for a much more affordable price but more importantly you can often see where they come from or being hand made if  you are lucky.

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For accessories I still keep my simplistic jewellery and do wear rings on nearly every single finger. I can’t help it even in this heat and humidity. Necklaces tend to bother me more so it’s usually just one piece rather than stacking and layering which seems to be hugely popular these days. It looks great but when you are sweating and everything gets tangled it is just annoying.

WOAH this post was a lot longer than expected but something I wanted to talk about because often when you do move country you do experience a change of style. This has happened to me even as a teenager. Have you experienced these sort of style changes? Let me know your story in the comments below.

xx the expat