Kappa Kontroll FW 17

Text by: Riccardo Slavik

”One way or the other, since certainty can be only an interpersonal, social achievement, the fitness-seekers can never be sure how far they got and how far they still need to go. Third -in the game called fitness, the player is simultaneously the fiddle and the fiddler. It is the bodily pleasurable, exciting or thrilling sensations which a fit person seeks- but the sensations-collector is that body and, at the same time, that body’s owner, guardian, trainer and director. The two roles are inherently incompatible. The first requires total immersion and self-abandonment, the second calls for a distance and sober judgement. Reconciliation of the two demands is a tall order -if attainable at all, which is doubtful. Added to the two previously signalled troubles, that additional worry makes the plight of the fitness-seeker an agony of which our health-conscious ancestors had no inkling. All three troubles daily generate a great deal of anxiety; what is more, however, that anxiety- the specifically postmodern affliction – is unlikely ever to be cured and stopped. It is also diffuse, as Jean Baudrillard pointed out; and diffuse, unfocused anxieties admit no specific remedies [. . .] ” Zygmunt Bauman ‘ On Postmodern Uses of Sex’ 1999

As Bauman pointed out, fitness anxiety is part of the postmodern condition, and as ‘health’ which is more easily measurable, gives way to a rather more vague ‘fitness’ concept,  unease and insecurity are practically inevitable. This unattaible feeling of ‘fitness’ which seems to have permeated our society might be at the core of fashion’s recent obsession with sports-related clothing. When they started to show up on catwalks a few seasons ago, many thought that high fashion versions of tracksuits and other basic sportswear staples wouldn’t last long, yet here we are, Spring-Summer ’18 is a year away and we’ll have to be fashionably sporty for at least 12 more months, the trend hasn’t yet disappeared from the global catwalks…


A side effect of this trend – which doesn’t just embrace a sporty attitude for high-end menswear, but also translates as a general relaxation in suiting and what is generally considered more ‘formal’ attire – is the resurgence of historical sportswear labels, which a combination of 1990’s and early 2000’s nostalgia and the magical touch of emerging designer collaborations have pushed back on the map and bathed in brand new ‘cool’. One such brand is Italian sportswear giant Kappa, which has lately been brought back into the fashion and sportswear ‘most wanted’ lists thanks to a collaboration with Gosha Rubchinskiy and the creation and distribution, through Slam Jam, of a higher end streetwear label named Kappa Kontroll.

Mixing a classic, vintage, sportswear aesthetic with a gloomier, edgy, streetwear -and subculture- inspired mood, and photographed in the stark ‘underground’ style now synonymous with minimalist fashion, the FW 17 Kappa Kontroll collection is a perfect blend of fitness anxiety and postmodern fashion, that elusive blurred line between tradition and the fleeting moment which can invest the most common objects with the desirability of Fashion.

Photos Massimo Zanusso
Styling Ilaria Chionna