Exploring the relationship between contemporary fashion and global sportswear brands over the last 20 years, Fashion V Sport exhibition launches in Liverpool. Running until 31 May 2009, the retrospective will start at the Walker Art Gallery and is a new touring exhibition from London’s
Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). Fashion V Sport will showcase around 50 outfits and 120 objects, present the extent to which designers take inspiration from each other to score hits on both the catwalks and sports fields.

Designers such as Stella McCartney, collaborating with sports brands like Adidas, illustrate sportswear’s popularity as a fashion statement. Fashion V Sport shows how designers such as Dries van Noten and Vivienne Westwood have reworked original sportswear staples such as the grey jersey tracksuit, redefining them as high-end fashion items.

Divided into four sections, Dare, Display, Play and Desire, the exhibition guides the visitor through a range of styles, outfits and objects to reveal the creative connections which interlink factors affecting the way we dress today.

The Dare section looks at how sportswear is rated highly as an essential part of the modern wardrobe. With the lines becoming blurred in the use of sportswear for its main purpose, sports technologies are being integrated into every day fashions, and the exhibition highlights the struggle that has developed between traditional and innovative design. The sections Display and Play highlight the street as the most crucial space where sportswear is worn as fashion. Desire features examples of advertising campaigns for fashion brands, including sports personalities such as David Beckham and David James modelling for Armani along with designer sporting accessories including a Paul Smith-designed snowboard and Chanel fishing bag.

Fashion V Sport is an exhibition organised by the V&A Museum. V&A Publishing has produced a catalogue in conjunction with the exhibition titled Fashion V Sport. Priced at £19.99, the catalogue has been edited by the exhibition’s curator Ligaya Salazar, and includes essays by Christopher Breward, Sophie Woodward and Mark Simpson.

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Image: Stella McCartney for Adidas Gym