'Three Coats' by Siv Støldal and Ruth Hogben, at SHOWstudio
AW 2008-09 / Three Wardrobes
SS 2008 / High Visibility
AW 2007-08 / Cover Up
SS 2007 / Camouflage
AW 2006-07 / Seasonal/Effective/Disorder
SS 2006 / Sportswear
AW 2005-06 / Dress Up/Down
SS 2005 / Outside/In
AW 2004-05 / Disguise
AW 2003-04 / Trace

Project / Cover Up
Project / Trace

Collaboration / Fred Perry




Spring / summer 06

Sportswear is everywhere, that much we know. Yet despite its familiarity, and the ease with which we can discern which type of sweat-inducing activity it was originally intended for, it often expands the boundaries of traditional clothing via rather ingenious methods. Innovative, high-tech fabrics are frequently utilised, for example, and those nifty little seams, details and flaps all specific to sportswear might not normally be found in 'regular' attire. Sportswear colours, cut and shape can defy entrenched tailoring practice, while certain details are purely practical - offering protection or keeping cool the wearer. Other aspects, such as logos, are more commercial and decorative, of course. In the normal contexts - whether the field, pitch or racing track - many of these elements are taken for granted and little-scrutinised. Similarly accepted is the idea of sportswear representing a shared form of 'costume' for players and fans alike - uniting them in the pursuit and appreciation of physical prowess and mental agility. So, what happens if these clothes are divorced from their typical terrain and then fused with everyday garments?

Siv Støldal's Spring/Summer 06 collection, SPORTS/WEAR, casts a beady eye over these various concerns, mixing abundant sporting references with traditional men's clothing in confident, intelligent and exciting ways. The collection includes the intricate cut of a football shirt that has been translated into traditional checked shirts, jackets and knitwear. Or there's the designer's customary use of bold printing techniques - which this time sees images culled from the sports pages of Norwegian and English newspapers, enlarged to actual size, and then reprinted over an array of new garments. Not to mention her redefining of generic sporting T-shirts, which are remoulded and remixed with classic shirts, and the finely-honed tailoring techniques for which Støldal is well-known being cleverly and surprisingly combined with fabrics such as sporting jersey. The result? SPORTS/WEAR is clearly a winner.

Words: James Anderson