Last Updated on 28th September 2012

Prada’s Olympic collection continues high fashion’s athletic obsession

The S/S 2013 fashion season’s well underway, with London Fashion Week in full swing, but its Milan’s menswear catwalks that are still the talk of the town. Prada’s S/S men’s collection created a buzz, with its Olympic spirit clear for all to see. Thanks to Prada, just-like-that, the tracksuit is back.

The collection features a supremely tailored take on the traditionally slouchy sportswear, with go faster stripe detailing switched to run the length of the inner, rather than outer, leg. Sweatbands, sports vests and polo shirts completed the look, alongside wide-strapped and striped rubber mules, reminiscent of retro Olympic swimmers.

Prada’s sporty new look is a continuation of a trend set last year that saw the tracksuit take on a whole new level of couture cred. Dubbed the Track and Field trend by Vogue, dresses took on an athletic flavour, performance sports fabrics were used to create figure-hugging shapes, and the tracksuit was given an elegant overhaul by the world’s leading fashion houses, all in the run up to the Olympics.

For the final seal of stylish approval, one of Britain’s most successful fashion exports, Stella McCartney, teamed up with Adidas this year to create the chicest Team GB uniforms yet. A long way from the eyepopping Jimmy Saville shellsuits of old, the sports gear has been toned down and tailored up, with designers using a whole range of fabrics to create a whole new take on this athletic staple.

Helping the tracksuit sweat its way from the sports track to the red carpet, trendsetting celebrities have played as big a part as haute couturiers in transforming the tracksuit into a hot fashion item. We’ve seen a lot more of celebrities in their gym threads in recent years, thanks to the round-the-clock nature of A-list news these days, and a paparazzi that never sleep. Being snapped on their way to and from the gym meant that the stars started paying more attention to their sports look, and we did too.

Thanks to the likes of Eva Longoria, Madonna, J Lo and Paris Hilton, velour tracksuits became the A-list lounge look of choice, and a major trend that swept the high street.

The worlds of hip-hop and sports clothing have gone hand in hand from the beginning. Since Run DMC’s touching tribute to their favourite brand, My Adidas, major sports brands have been an essential part of the hip-hop and street menswear aesthetic. With hip-hop artists now firmly established at the top of the musical food chain, and plenty of dough to splash out on bling, they’ve taken the tracksuit with them. Sean Coombes and Jay-Z have gone on to create their own high-end sports labels, with Snoop, Missy et al flaunting custom-made, and pricey, designs, turning the tracksuit into truly luxury, covetable item.

So the tracksuit is back, at least for another season, and whether you wear yours on the track or off, it doesn’t matter – thanks to the worlds of high fashion and celebrity, the tracksuit is de rigueur, anywhere. Find a range of hoodies and tracksuit bottoms at

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