If You Can Get Killed Doing It, Fashion Wants It

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On the other hand, the multicolored paneled, cinched, zippered, hooded Windbreakers and parkas and backpacks and scoop-neck pullovers Prada showed in Milan in June came festooned with so many bellows pockets and utility compartments that a wearer would need a route map just to find his car keys.

IT WAS PROBABLY INEVITABLE that, as tech advances propelled sports culture further away from the contractually dictated sameness of numbered team uniforms and closer to the individualistic and highly Instagrammable realms of death-courting pursuits like free soloing and wing-suit flight, fashion would follow.

In a certain sense, it had no choice.

The street wear that has for so long stoked fashion’s edge eventually stalled, and as hoodies and saggers became a form of urban normcore, they yielded to the embrace by fashion-forward types like the rapper ASAP Rocky of zip fleece parkas from labels like North Face, Columbia and Arc’teryx — “gorpcore” as it was christened by The Cut.

Even Alessandro Michele, the Gucci panjandrum, went around looking like a base camp groupie.

“I believe that the street wear and sportswear influences we have seen lately in fashion are mostly aesthetic,” Ms. Prada wrote. “It is solely a fashion statement.”

Yet for many of the labels represented in a crammed adventure sports pavilion at the recent Pitti Uomo, world’s largest trade show dedicated to men’s wear and held twice yearly in Florence, Italy, the get-ups of the ornamental dandies for which the fair has become famous seemed as if designed for inhabitants of a distant universe.

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At brands like Woolrich, Raeburn, Mountain Research, And Wander and others, it was adventure sports that drove the aesthetics of clothes better suited to the Iditarod than the cobbled streets of Florence.



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