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"A Gardener's Ballad" - Sportmax Spring/Summer 2024 Fashion Show

Watch the full show on Sportmax's Youtube channel

Discover the backstage content on the official TikTok channel


The Sportmax Spring Summer 2024 collection emerges from a mirroring reflection on the changes in nature as well as the nature of change, tracing an analogy between the seasonal cycles and the equally cyclical battling between tradition and progress; the idea of perpetual regeneration; the resetting of the individual and collective consciousness in a given context, questioning simultaneously the very core of what ‘Natural’ vs ‘Cultural’ means in a world that struggles with reconciling both realms or keeping them in perfect equilibrium. Today’s world is largely dependent on the rapid updating of advanced technology and sophisticated gadgets, spoiled by and addicted to the multi-functions of digital platforms, formatted to be algorithmically connected to speed and instant gratification, hypnotised by the mundane while losing touch with the mystical or contemplative side of things. If we dispense with contemplation, we move dangerously towards desensitisation, becoming voyeurs more than participants; technicians more than poets; followers more than mavericks.

In a Post-naturalistic world, while we attempt to capture and ‘rescue’ a certain sense of ‘naturalness’ around us, we still do so by artificially containing nature; carefully curating it and obsessively profiling it, whether behind the glass of a Laboratory cabinet, an interactive museum display, a shop vitrine or a smartphone screen.

So, one can wonder: Will nature, just like ancient rituals, traditions and craftsmanship, also become the ‘memento mori’ of a world of extinct marvels, in which artificially generated replicas will be the only way we can experience life in the future? Is there a future without acknowledgement of the past?Is artificial the new natural? Is science the new art?

If those questions are at the heart of what motivated the collection’s narrative, it also finds resonance in Japanese aesthetics and its various incarnations as a stylistic movement at different historical moments. In the second half of the 19th century, it heavily influenced the organic dynamism of Art Nouveau and the fashions of the Belle Epoque and later translated into the high stylisation of the 1920s, up to its most recent re-emergence in the late 90s, when it inspired the poetic futuristic wave of that period, embraced by countless rising and consecrated artists in music, film and fashion (such as Björk emulating an android Geisha for her ‘Homogenic’ cover or Madonna’s alter ego during her ‘Ray of Light’ era).


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