METAL #31

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METAL 31 | SPORTS, TRIBES, RELIGION

With a mythical origin, often linked with religion in many ancient cultures, sport is a complex cultural phenomenon capable of bringing together various groups with one common objective. In the fields, stadia and amphitheatres of pre- Columbian America, Crete and Greece, the public attended ceremonies where, following ritualized lines, struggles took place between cosmic principles such as femininity/masculinity or order /chaos. It was not until later, with the advent of the Romans, that the sacred element was removed and we were left with the pure spectacle.

In anthropological terms, sport is a sublimation of the tribal instinct ready to battle against the enemy in a symbolic war against the Other. This contributes to establish the identity of the different collectives or groups. It is in this context that the figure of the hero appears, a figure that still exists today in the case of elite sportsmen. A “super man” who is above all beliefs, political and intellectual values and raises admiration among his followers (irrespective of their ideologies).

The aesthetics of sport are especially important. Its iconography is symbolic, concrete and is determined by its colours and graphical elements, its symbols, talismans and protective gods, many of which are present via logos. Mass media has turned sports into a phenomenon without precedent, to such an extent that anthropology has suggested football to be the religion of the 21st century.

At the dawn of the last century, sport began a creative idyll that would later transform 20th century aesthetics. Comfort would com- bine with luxury fabrics to nurture the demanding wardrobes of the wealthier social classes as these began to engage in open air sports in the early decades of the last century. Chanel, Patou, Vionnet and Schiaparelli would write the first chapters of this history which is also the history of modernity.It began as a reflection of a sophisticated and idle lifestyle that kept on seducing the rest of society as has always been the case with fashion but that would soon reverse the direction. And then, in the street and slum neighbourhoods, to later go on to the catwalks, experimenting with new technologies and materials, reflecting the changes with infinite sensitivity. The birth of Y-3 in 2003,the sum of Yamamoto's and Adidas' talent, crystallises in a visionary way a third genre in fashion which is no longer only fashion or sport but both things combined. The journey of this creative path in fashion is still a work in process. The spring of 2014 is a good example of it.

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