Style File: Haute on the half-pipe

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The love affair of luxury labels with the Nineties skate scene shows no signs of abating,  as sneakers, sliders and sweatshirts are given an  über-luxe twist, says Rebecca Gonsalves

It won’t have escaped your notice that the Nineties are back in a big way. The fashion pack has been tripping and skipping through the trends of the tail end of the millennium with vigour, putting a touch of finesse on a steady stream of garments with retro appeal.

Sports uniforms have long been sources of inspiration for designers of a certain inclination – indeed, tennis garments were a huge part of the repertoire of those fashion revolutionaries Coco Chanel and Jean Patou. While the latter dressed ace Suzanne Lenglen for the 1920 Olympics, the influence of such designs was felt far from just the courts. Traditionally, the sports that were mined for catwalk inspiration have been aspirational. Tennis, cricket or even rugby – these all equate with the luxury lifestyle a label is selling.

While the influence of catwalk fashion on the high street grows glaringly more obvious with every season, the reverse is true, too. From Marc Jacobs’s grunge spring/summer 1993 collection for Perry Ellis, to Galliano’s homeless-inspired spring 2000 haute couture collection for Christian Dior, designers seeking inspiration from less salubrious sources is certainly not a new phenomenon.

But the appropriation of slacker style, that skater look that was synonymous with California cool in the Nineties – sweatshirts, slip-on sneakers, baggy jeans and beanies – has been a gradual uptake and done with huge aplomb. It began with the sweatshirt; Riccardo Tisci led the way when he elevated the once-humble garment to deific stature in his autumn/winter 2011 collection of panthers and pin-ups.

The pool slider, once a distinctly communal shower-only shoe, was given a hit of glitz by Christopher Kane for spring/summer 2012, followed by the ultimate luxury makeover: a mink lining, courtesy of Céline’s Phoebe Philo for spring/summer 2013. Philo and Tisci can also take credit for the slip-on skate shoe’s dominance du jour, with ponyskin and printed versions outshining the original Vans.

“I think what’s so exciting about the aesthetic is its unpredictability,” says Judd Crane, director of womenswear at Selfridges. “Vans worn with tailoring, or a baseball cap with a full designerwear look – it’s self- consciously playful and irreverent, but grounded in authenticity.”

The silhouette of the skater is loose and unrestrictive – slouchy, baggy and layered looks were all seen at the London shows for autumn/winter. Perhaps unsurprising in a city where the street-inspired aesthetic is never far away. Aries is a skate-inspired fashion brand that hopes to return to the sensibility of the Eighties, when street-wear was fashion and vice versa. Founded by Fergus Purcell, Sofia Prantera, and Luca Benini four years ago, it benefits from the current cross-over. Purcell’s background is in graphics – his first commercial artwork was for Slam City Skates in 1987 and he now designs for Palace Skateboards – and he says his aesthetic is “primarily street and trashy, while Sofia has a more sophisticated and fashion-savvy approach”. Aries is the overlap between the two.

Rather than being upset by any appropriation of skate culture for the catwalk, Purcell sees it as a positive: “There’s no question of authenticity when luxury designers take looks from the street. The flow between street and fashion is constant and goes both ways. I hope that we’re seeing a time where all manner of distinct things from high and low culture are coming together to become something new.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

    £90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

    £100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

    Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee