When you think of athleisure, you might think of adidas paired with patterned leggings and your favorite cardigan, or a Calvin Klein sports bra atop faded boyfriend jeans. You might even think of sweats worn to class, not to be confused with your lazy Sunday yoga pants. And, of course, all things YEEZY. It's a trend that incorporates gym clothes into the everyday wardrobe — where high fashion and comfort collide.
And it’s this gym-to-street (or just street) fad that inspired Ithaca College’s HiFashion Studios Fall 2016 fashion show. The theme is “Sporting Gold,” and it will be held Novemeber 17 at 8:00 p.m. in Emerson Suites. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and all you have to do is show up, literally — admission is free and open to the public. There will be live performances from Ithaca Beatbox, IC Voicestream and more, not to mention a free raffle (emphasis on FREE).
As Ithaca College’s only fashion-centered student organization, HiFashion Studios has organized two runway shows every year since 2010. In the fall of 2015, they brought us back in time, featuring styles from four different decades in their show “Timeless,” and took us to the circus with “Center of the Ring” last spring.
President Shey Aponte said that "Sporting Gold" also pays tribute to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. "Big companies were coming out with separate lines dedicated solely to the Games, and it was everywhere! We wanted to utilize this into our show somehow but still incorporate the athleisure style that has weaved itself into major facets of the fashion industry," she said.
According to Leksey Maltzman, head stylist on the HiFashion Studios wardrobe team, the show will be split into winter and summer, based on Olympic sports. “Sporting Gold” will showcase pieces from stores such as Rue 21, Francesca's and Mary Durham Boutique and will feature up to 48 models, each assigned four looks.
Maltzman also revealed that the wardrobe team’s major goal for the show is to promote body positivity "by working with each model one on one and making sure they are comfortable in every outfit they wear.”
"This semester we have such a diverse and beautiful group of models who ultimately make the show the success it is," President Aponte said.
This will be Andrea Santiago's fourth show as a model for HiFashion Studios. According to Santiago, backstage is always filled with fun and excitement, and "there is a a lot going on — lights, models getting dressed, loud music, people in the audience. It's a very exhilarating experience."
"It can be a little nerve-wracking having all that attention put on you, but everyone is so supportive and nice," Santiago said. Her favorite part about this year's theme "is that you get the comfort of workout clothes and still look chic and fashionable."
HiFashion Studios Creative Executive, Andrea Wollin, said that the athleisure trend promotes a healthy lifestyle in a few different ways. “First, it promotes exercise and the involvement in sports. However, it also is a trend that everyone can wear because it expands across different types of clothing — not everything in athleisure is a crop top — and it’s very inexpensive to emulate," she said.
Katie O’Hara, a stylist on the wardrobe team, talked about the versatility of the athleisure trend. “Anyone can rock it,” she said. “I make it my own by sticking to black and white colors and cool textures like mesh, but you can totally opt for pops of color or whatever fits your style.”
“Fashion is a beautiful and creative way to express oneself,” Wollin said. “If we promote that fashion is only for individuals of one size, then that tells everyone else they are not capable of being beautiful and expressing their own style.”
She continued, “The amazing thing about fashion in general is that it’s for everyone: it crosses cultural, racial, economic and even historical lines so that style can be accessible to everyone. Fashion is more about confidence and art then being skinny and showing off.”
Kanye couldn’t have said it better himself.