Small admission. I’ve taken to the gym. Actually. That’s a big admission (and I still cringe when I type those words). With coercion from a friend (thanks for the pain, Watson) and the mitigating factors of increasing boredom until my return to London and a desire for my early ‘20s ballet physique, I’ve taken the plunge.
The kickback from the plunge is the trawling through rails of spandex and breathable sportswear. It’s a first. And it’s a mighty disappointing insight into what’s out there. On the plus side, a whole new area of fashion consumerism has opened its doors. But oh, the negatives…the obsession that sportswear designers think women have with bright pink and neon, the profusion of logos that discreet high-end designerism would sneer at for it’s in-your-face tribalism and the multifarious straps that don’t seem to do, well, anything, other than look strappy. And here was I thinking the epitome of sportswear meant Claire McCardell or the recently stepped down from her role, Donna Karan.
As well as Stella Mac, who’s taking sportswear into fashion and vice versa, there’s the arrival of newbie label, Koral Activewear, now available at Harvey Nichols.
Koral Activewear is a vibrant, edgy fashion sportswear label with a nod to Rick Owens type cuts and styling, and a directional outlook that kicks trad sportswear labels into oblivion. Performance sportswear never looked so hot. Minimalist elements of shape and proportion are tied together by obi sashes and long sweeping lines of ribbon colour-blocking. Kimono like layers drape beautifully over sheer-panelled leggings with discreet reveals. Strategically placed compression panels trimmed with reflective details support and artfully sculpt the body while creating elongated lines. This is all good. Sexy and unbranded. Take note sportswear conglomerates. Here lies a huge marketing opportunity.
Until I can lay my fash hands on Koral Activewear, I’ll bleed into big label oblivion and be one of the faceless hoards. Save me.