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Art, Nature & Shamen Inspire Fall ’17 Athletic Trends

Sport remains a force in fashion and footwear, and it plays by its own set of style rules and inspiration.

Edelkoort Inc. Fashion and Design Specialist Philip Fimmano outlined “the art of sport” for Fall ’17 in a seminar at Premiere Vision New York. Fimmano painted a season glowing with transparencies and neon light, yet grounded in nature-inspired artwork.

Let There Be Light
Inspired by light art that became popular in the 1960s, athletic collections are lighter and more luminescent for Fall ’17. Silicone bottoms becomes more transparent and colors are “ribboned” through soles. Flecks of colors mimic flecks of light.

Metallic finishes, green, mint and pink pair up with white sneakers. These pastel shades are notably less sugary as those typically seen in spring. Instead, Fimmano said pastels are “creamy, muted, dusty and matte.” In comparison, he added the summer season is becoming darker.

Nature Approved
Printed landscapes on sneakers, boots and anoraks tell a nature-inspired story for Fall ’17. The trend is far more literal than previous seasons, however green, khaki and soil remain go-to colors.

The trend features foliage and abstract camouflage prints done in contemporary technical textiles. Fimmano said the trend has nothing to do with military, adding that the camo and hardware is not aggressive. Instead, the look has a “vagabond spirit.” Grungy sneakers, frayed materials and worn-in silhouettes are essential to the theme.

Tag, You’re It
Street art from all corners of the world collides with tribal motifs to create an urban patchwork of print, pattern and color. The trend connects closely with skate and street brands, as well as brands focused on logo and branding.

Rita Ora’s recent paint-by-number collection with Adidas Originals is a precursor to a Fall ’17 season that heavily relies on bold art motifs. Improvised drawings, Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and black and white lettering opens the door for new opportunities in branding. Tagging, reminiscent of Louis Vuitton’s famous graffiti collection created with Stephen Sprouse, returns.

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Colors are inky shades of off-black, dark blue and deep red, paired with camel and tan. Smeared ink creates a marbling effect.

Fimmano pointed out that “intense lacing” is a focal point. Expect to see more side closures, wide laces, asymmetrical laces, zigzag laces or shoes sold with two lace options.

Dance Revolution
The dance-inspired trend features two contrasting color stories: medium pastels (dusty steel blue, peach and pale olive) and surf colors (saturated shades of yellow, red and blue.) Fimmano noted that blue and turquoise will be important transition colors into Spring ’18.

Leggings remain a key element in activewear for Fall ’17, but Fimmano said apparel silhouettes will become larger and more voluminous. Likewise, he said footwear silhouettes and outsoles will become fatter.

Velvet, flannel and corduroy add a sense of coziness. Shoes become an extension of socks or slippers. The theme also calls for neoprene, coatings and plasticized materials, as well as technical fabrics with waterproof and water resistant properties.

Nomad Style
Fur adds drama to Fall ’17 sport trends, however Fimmano described the use of the decadent material as more Shaman-inspired and less glamour. Blurry prints on fur, shredded fur and shearling textures come into play. Exposed shearling on ankle boots and boots that allow socks to be seen are important. “Everyone wants to show socks,” he quipped.

Folkloric detailing, like patchwork and handiwork, are juxtaposed with black and white graphics, glow in the dark materials and waxed materials.

A workwear vibe, which Fimmano noted is coming from the increasingly popular denim world, brings oxidized colors, metallic foils, destroyed character and leather combinations. Heavy twill in “industrial blue” is used like denim.