Move away corsets and crystals –
Athleisure has arrived in full glory.

Well, athleisure has been here for a while and celebs aren’t backing down from wearing it; and why should they? It’s comfy, it’s stylish, it’s giving them the opportunity to flaunt their sculpted bodies and advertize their commitment to a healthy lifestyle in the process. Talk about killing multiple birds with one stone!

However, not all athleisure wear is created equal; some athleisure is more glam than the other.

Just as we’ve seen growth in other fashion trends, we’ve been witnessing a progressive upgrade in athleisure wear, too. With a phenomenal sophistication and an open mind in approaching sportswear design, the trend has quickly gone from plain cute to urban-chic, elegant and exciting pieces of clothing we collectively tend to drool over. With the skilful inclusion of ornaments, mixing of fabrics and over the top cuts – athleisure wear has made for a wonderfully put together mish-mash of a little bit of everything, often in an exaggerated amount.

Athleisure has found its way into high fashion, too; from silk overcoats and cardigans combined with nylon leggings to cotton cropped tops paired with high-end, see-through lace pants, it’s evident athleisure has evolved from gym to statement style. For God’s sake, Kim Kardashian’s just worn Balenciaga lace bodysuit paired with Adidas bottoms to her outing in Paris! We’re still not sure what to think; while this extravaganza may be a matter of an emerging trend (we’re still struggling to accept), it can also be a personal desire for pushing boundaries, a dynamic much exercised by multiple a celeb (who seem to be allowed to do everything).

Then comes a brand like Ryderwear, which is featuring athleisure in their own collections, and people are going crazy about it. Followers from all around the world are coming in flocks to get a piece of that.

We’ve also been treated to celebrity active wear lines from  Rihanna, Beyoncé, and, well, Rita Ora. We never thought we’d see leather workout pants came on the scene, but we did; Nike has signed contracts with Riccardo Tisci and Olivier Rousteing to create fashionable gym-rat attire. The e-commerce giant’s active wear division Net-a-Sporter together with boutiques like Bandier are now sources for workout clothes that cost nearly as much as their ready-to-wear counterparts. What’s happening is that everyone is rushing to support the shift into athleisure mashup depths, so much so that we no longer know what constitutes as gym wear and what makes for an evening, elegant attire.

In a closer observation, this glam athleisure is nowhere close to innovation; if anything, the pieces combined are pure recidivism of past trends put together in a seemingly homogeneous collections that resonate edge and rebellion. And – the 21st century loves edge and rebellion, doesn’t it? Sure. That’s why we’re bluntly going for anything and everything remotely resembling personality and statement.

A dilemma on this athleisure march is what, here, represents an actual shift in the way we approach dressing and what makes for a (durable) trend.  Are we to suppose athleisure will, just as every other overarching trend (normcore, minimalism) inevitably shift in the opposite direction? Maybe. Till then, we’ll just keep on rocking our contemporary fitness lifestyle. Oh wait, no – that’s every Kardashian, nowadays.

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