Yogis in transit: Designs for the downward dog add style, color and eco-conscious performance

At Winter Market’s Yoga Zone, show goers saw trends that have popped up across the outdoor industry in the last few seasons: street-to-studio style, sustainability and lively color combinations.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 23-26. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

At Winter Market’s Yoga Zone, show goers saw trends that have popped up across the outdoor industry in the last few seasons: street-to-studio style, sustainability and lively color combinations.

In the past, yoga designers have been most concerned with functionality of apparel in the studio — does it bend, stretch, wick and cover in all the right ways. Now we’re seeing a shift toward transitional yoga clothes. Brands are debuting apparel stylish enough to go to and from class, while staying practical for downward dog, triangle or cobra poses.

That, and a rash of natural or eco-conscious performance fabrics like hemp and recycled polyester are taking the lead in yoga trends for fall ’13. Plus, in a season when blacks and dark hues often reign supreme, yoga apparel makers are taking a sunnier route and infusing bright colors into their fall lines. 

Enter Gramicci and its first line of yoga-centric apparel — all made in toxin-free, naturally wicking hemp. “For fall, most people dive deeper and darker, and instead, we stayed colorful and added patterns,” said Anna Kovandjiska, Gramicci’s senior women’s designer. Showcased in a handful of pieces throughout the line, the mid-calf-length, fitted Gwen Capri (MSRP from $52) comes in seven colors including Infinite Violet and Paprika and the drop-shoulder Atlantic Long Sleeve Yoga Top (MSRP $68) is tapered and easily goes from the studio to town. TheNorth Face is very vibrant with Pixie Purple and Intense Blue in their Shavasana Collection (Shavasana Tank pictured below).

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But colors only draw in consumers. Beyond that, it’s all about feel (read: softness and stretchiness). A newcomer to Winter Market, Anue New Balance’s three-year-old premium yoga line, not only attracts customers with its Taj Mahal inspired shapes (like the tear-drop opening on its MSRP $60 Temple Keyhole tank), it nails a feathery feel with its recycled polyester Lycra blend, aptly called Nirvana. Black Lycra in the fabric eliminates the shine-factor that stretchy fabric can have, and suede on the front and back of the apparel line gives it a supple appearance. The North Face also is embracing recycled poly’s sustainable benefits because of its ability to manage moisture while staying comfortable. The faux-bolero Sanctuary Jacket (MSRP $130), for example, transitions smoothly into the office post-practice. Los Angeles-based Rebecca Michaels, another newcomer to the show, is introducing recycled polyester blended with organic cotton in her Sportswear Collection, featuring the Foldover/Lounge Yoga Pant (MSRP $120, photo below).

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Prana’s nylon-based Chakara fabric has been successful for years. For fall 2013, the brand introduces a lighter version of the Bluesign-certified fabric with the ability to manage moisture in hot yoga studios. We’ll see the fabric out of the Bikram class, too, thanks to lifestyle silhouettes like the racerback Hope Top (MSRP $65), which pairs perfectly with the back-pocket adorned, flared Drew Pant (MSRP $89).

Anue heads to the lifestyle route with its Peru-inspired “En Route” collection. And Moving Comfort embraces the “to-and-fro” category with its jacquard mesh Vibe Long Sleeve (MSRP $55), the UPF 50 Chic Wrap (MSRP $90) and the reversible Flipside Long Sleeve (MSRP $70). Moving Comfort also keeps it technical with its polyester-spandex combo dubbed Dry Layer Plush, in which four-way stretch keeps the street-friendly pieces studio-ready, such as in the wicking-and-soft Chic Tunic (MSRP $70).

Lucy Activewear focuses on the thing that keeps yoga pants selling with its new Perfect Booty Pant (MSRP $108). Strategically placed mesh panels gently remind a woman to engage her glutes, adding compression during high lunges and yogi squats while also smoothing out trouble spots.

Lole is combining the eco-friendly aspect with fashion-forward style in its Oversea Yoga Pant (MSRP $100), which are made from natural antibacterial, wicking 2nd Skin Pure. The pants have pockets on each side and stitching that create the illusion of skinny jeans versus regular yoga pants.

--Ali Carr Troxell

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