Sportmax | The Body Electric
"And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?”
Telling the story of a soul through the flesh. Exalting the shape of the body, revealing the skin, allowing an electric, hypnotic sensuality to emerge. Light ensembles shaped by surreal silhouettes, give birth to a solar though enigmatic femininity. It is through the poetic words of Walt Whitman that Sportmax conjures the spirit of its Spring-Summer 2021 collection. I Sing the Body Electric, a poem written by the legendary writer in 1855, is an excerpt of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass collection. A passionate, loving ode to Sensual Purity that comes to life spontaneously from knowing one’s self.
Other references include the radiant beauty of Romy Schneider, whose on-screen persona also lights up the mood for the season. Casual, yet magnetic, as she was in the 1969 film La Piscine by French director Jacques Deray, she is at the same time psychedelic in the visual experiment L’Enfer, directed by Henri-George Clouzot to which she dedicated her visage. It is not about the costume design but rather the light, the seductiveness that transcends stereotypes. This is the true starting point for Sportmax in an aesthetic revolution, emboldened by this invisible force. Composed by technical materials combined with fabrics that are soft to the touch, illuminated by plays of transparency and colourful, layered prints. Body and soul, day and night, real and surreal. At first glance, the collection unravels in a succession of dualistic contrasts. Yet a harmony pervades, infusing a new dimension of style that evolves, giving life to one that remains true to its inner essence.
The effortless sensuality of a metropolitan siren emerges from dresses whose asymmetries and necklines plunge to reveal the shoulders or the back. Their lines willingly follow the figure, except perhaps to disregard it, alternating between breaths of pure lightness with ultra-soft leathers, as well as sartorial pattern variations, such as pinstripe. Fast forward to techno solutions, with a futuristic tang and an enchanting dose of iridescence.
Tailoring oscillates in a duality of styles — ranging from second-skin jackets to ones that embrace the figure in oversized dimensions and with exaggerated sleeves. Transparent knitwear is layered, producing a flourishing array of colour combination and see-through fabrics.
The prints are streaked and punctuated with a unique, eye-catching effect, thanks to a tie and dye process, while the key color palette of the collection is vibrant and intense, once again balanced with contrasting soft, neutral shades. Accessories are paramount, with thong sandals supported by bold, squared and padded structures, as well as thin geometric heels offering a delicate reprieve. Low-ankle boots outfitted with a protruding sole meant to enhance their shape.
The bags are enriched with quirky details such as the metal piercing that blocks the side of the maxi bag, pleated in soft canvas. And the same piercing motif evolves into keepsake bijoux pieces, abstract bracelets, necklaces and belt.
“This is the female form,
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot,
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction…
Women… you are the gates of the body,
and you are the gates of the soul.”