Sportmax, with their latest Fall/Winter 2023 collection, takes on a fresh perspective on sensual dressing. With the current trend of Y2K fashion taking over the fashion world, the creative team at Sportmax aimed to distinguish themselves by exploring sensuality through a woman’s perspective, instead of through the male gaze. The collection was showcased in a “grunge garage” setting, which was both raw and luxurious at the same time, reflecting the contradictions found in the collection.
The pieces in the collection played with the idea of tension, with oversized tailoring subverted by unconventional twists, such as elongated sleeves and gaitered leg hems, against dresses that were given a deliberate twist, such as those made to look like a convict’s escape route of tied-together bedsheets. The use of faux tail belt charms and mock python print tailoring hinted at the animalistic, while a sleeveless mid-length tube dress in lurex-y silver connected one breast to another. The models even walked down the runway in chisel-toed cowboy boots, colored to match the tailored pieces, adding to the overall theme of tension.
As Sportmax lacks an authorial voice, the collection needed to clearly convey the intention behind the designs on the runway. While the message was sometimes conveyed successfully, other times it got lost in the contradictions. Nevertheless, the collection was a bold move by Sportmax, as they looked at sensuality not just as a trend, but as an essential aspect of womanhood. By exposing their bodies, the women in the collection were seen reappropriating their identities, which was the central theme of the show.