Athletic influences are an important part of New York Fashion Week spring 2014. The concept was intensely explored by many brands with interesting and sometimes completely unexpected results. If for some designers, sportswear influences weren’t exactly new, for some brands such accents were among the least predictable sources of inspiration. At times, athletic influences went hand in hand with beach style essentials. At other times, athletic influences were combined with elegant accents. Here are some of the most interesting sports-inspired collections we’ve spotted:

NYFW Spring 2014: Lacoste Collection

Lacoste Spring 2014

The Lacoste spring 2014 collection is undoubtedly the least surprising addition to the list of sports-inspired lines. This time the designer took his inspiration from the 1930 in an attempt to “take the classic fabrics that are familiar to Lacoste in this very light and technical direction”. The line was defined by simple silhouettes, tennis-inspired skirts, oversized jackets and minimalist dresses in subdued tones.View more: Lacoste Spring 2014 Collection

NYFW Spring 2014: Derek Lam Collection

Derek Lam Spring 2014

For the spring 2014 season, the designer put a playful spin on his usual “American sportswear”-inspired creations. The spring 2014 line was defined by minimalist tailoring, 40s inspired silhouettes and an abundance of gingham prints. The color palette was well defined, revolving around white, blue, navy, yellow, and gray tones. The minimalist vibe of the new outfits was toned down a bit by accessories like headwraps and gladiator sandals.View more: Derek Lam Spring 2014 Collection

NYFW Spring 2014: Tommy Hilfiger Collection

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2014

The best description of the new Tommy Hilfiger collection comes from the designer himself: “It’s about ‘Westcoasting,’ and about “the California lifestyle from Melrose to Malibu. Surfing, skating, sporty, colorful, modern, beautiful.” Color blocked shirt dresses in neoprene, chunky knits, Hawaiian prints or short skirts in vibrant tones and cropped tops clearly highlighted the theme. There wasn’t a single pair of high heels in sight. Instead, Hilfiger brought a multitude of interesting flat sandals, espadrilles and wedge sneakers in the spotlight.View more: Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2014 Collection

NYFW Spring 2014: J. Crew Collection

J.Crew Spring 2014

Even though designer Tom Mora took his inspiration from the Californian surf culture and included several neoprene accents, the overall allure of the spring 2014 collection wasn’t a sporty one but a polished one. This is because he also used Venice Lido influences from the twentieth century when ”going to the beach meant dressing up”. The line featured both classy lace dresses and chic blazers which exuded classiness and refinement and more casual pieces in a multitude of colorful prints and patterns. Another interesting highlight of the show was the shoe line created in collaboration with Sophia Webster, which seems destined to fly off the shelves.View more: J.Crew Spring 2014 Collection

NYFW Spring 2014: Vera Wang Collection

Vera Wang Spring 2014

Vera Wang might not be the first designer that comes to mind when hearing the word “athletic”, however, the concept played an important part in her new line. For the designer, the athletic inspiration was reflected mostly at the construction level, even though there were several pieces that reflected the sporty influences quite literally. “Artsy meets athletic. The whole collection is really about movement ”, she explained. Chiffon dresses with mesh panels were perhaps the pieces that best reflected these ideas. Despite the fact that many of the looks revolved around black, the new line also featured accent tones such as citron yellow, cobalt blue and geranium red.View more: Vera Wang Spring 2014 Collection

Photos: WWD