Sport and Fashion strikes Gold with Stella McCartney, Jessie J and Serena Williams

By Ruth Hazard | 03 August 2012
A photo of a young female model wearing a gold cape with an athletics t-shirt under it

© Courtesy Adidas by Stella McCartney Photo: Glen Luchford at Art Partner. Model: Leomie at Premier
Exhibition: Sport and Fashion, Fashion Museum, Bath, until December 31 2012

As Team GB made their appearance at the Olympic Opening Ceremony they were greeted to cheers, applause and a collective gasp of “what are they wearing?”

Twitter users mocked the team, likening their look to that of Elvis impersonators, while Stella McCartney was quick to issue a statement that made it clear the suits were not part of her Olympic design remit.

So while we may not see this look hitting British stores next season, the Fashion museum in Bath is making the case for sports fashion and its ability to influence mainstream trends.

Showcasing examples of historic sportswear from the museum collection alongside modern fashions and examples of athletic kit, the display looks at how clothing designers have continually borrowed from sport, both in fabric and cut as well as the look and styling of garments.

Highlights include the catsuit worn by Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams at the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010, as well as a selection of items by fashion designers who have been inspired by sports kit, including Pam Hogg’s second skin stage-wear for Jessie J.

Drawn from the Fashion Museum’s collection of historic dress is a cream, red and blue striped wool suit worn by members of the Park Tobogganing Club in London during the 1880s, tailored Victorian riding habits and monogrammed cream silk tennis dresses from the 1920s.

Other eye-catching pieces include Serena Williams’ vivid blue tennis dress, which transformed on-court fashion, and Victoria Beckham’s hoody gown, which took its inspiration from the world of boxing.

A photographic display profiling the work of stylist Ray Petri, whose signature look involved mixing up sportswear and fashion and was used for cover shots of The Face magazine, will also run alongside the exhibition.

  • Open 10.30am- 4pm. Admission: £5.50-£7.50 (free for under-5s, family ticket £21).

More pictures:

A photo of a female model in a dress of rugby colours surrounded by three male rugby players
Bath rugby players Francois Louw, Matt Carraro and Nathan Catt take a look at a rugby shirt dress by Gary Harvey
© Fashion Museum, Bath and North East Somerset Council. Photo: Colin Hawkins. Model: Fiona at Gingersnap
A photo of a line up of mannequins wearing various sporty t-shirts and gold robes
'Space Jacket' and Team GB t-shirt by Stella McCartney for Adidas (2011); Hip Hop Ensemble (1992) by Cross Colours, New York City; Gold and Silver Bodysuit (Spring / Summer 2011), by Pam Hogg; Red, White and Blue Space Suit (2010) by Adidas, Worn by Amy Williams, Olympic Gold Medallist Women’s Skeleton Bob; Gold Medal t-shirt Ensemble (Spring / Summer 2012) by Vivienne Westwood Man, designed by Andreas Kronthaler
A photo of a line up of mannequins wearing various sporty t-shirts and gold robes
Gold 'Space Jacket' and Team GB t-shirt by Stella McCartney for Adidas (2011); Hip Hop Ensemble (1992) by Cross Colours, New York City; Gold and Silver Bodysuit (Spring / Summer 2011), by Pam Hogg; Red, White and Blue Space Suit (2010) by Adidas, Worn by Amy Williams, Olympic Gold Medallist Women’s Skeleton Bob; Gold Medal t-shirt Ensemble (Spring / Summer 2012) by Vivienne Westwood Man, designed by Andreas Kronthaler
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