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The Beyonce effect

Grace Howarth reviews the singer's new sportswear line

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Image: Topshop

With the London Marathon last month and the focus on fitness and diet taking over 2016, Beyonce's timely release of her new sportswear line Ivy Park has proven, as expected, very popular and marketable. Acting as co-founder alongside Topshop's Sir Philip Green, Beyonce has formed a new range of fitness wear combining comfortable garments you might wear at leisure such as leggings and loose fitting hoodies with more gym-ready items such as sports bras and running shorts. One of the creative aims for the line was for it to be adaptable. "This isn't just a sports kit," the campaign states, "it's a whole lifestyle." Here the creators are very accurate. The collection is very sports-meets-fashion, building on the traditional core items of a gym kit. The streamlined leggings, sports bra, and tank top cut with a neckline to draw attention to the collar bone all accentuate the female figure. Next are the running shorts, lightweight jacket for outdoor activities and finally the classic zip up sweat top.

Beyince TS29L06JBLK Zoom M 1
Image: Topshop

The collection features the bold Ivy Park logo on its items, which come in an array of more minimalist colours: cool greys, blacks, whites and electric blues. This makes sense, with non intrusive colour palettes and the ever growing taste for fitness wear trickling down into mainstream fashion. Soon jeans will be overhauled and leggings will become the new necessity in the wardrobe of teenagers and twenty somethings. The much publicised campaign shoot, which was brought out alongside the sports wear line, features Beyonce riding though basketball courts and demonstrating the durability of her line as well as her physical prowess on the climbing bars and the still rings. The leafy green setting of the video makes a suitable backdrop to the campaign shoot but instead is of more significance than first meets the eye. The singer explains that the park is a place of common ground. A place everybody is welcome. A beautiful, open, verdant, public space for sports and leisure alike. The park holds different meanings to each individual. Growing up Beyonce spent a lot of time outdoors, running to strengthen and increase her stamina when it came to performing on stage.

Wet beyonceTS29L13JBLK Zoom M 1

Interestingly enough the Ivy in the brand's title does not refer to Beyonce's daughter but instead to the Roman numerals 'IV', which symbolises the number four, a significant number to the singer, whose birthday falls on 4 September.
If you are preparing to freshen up your spring wardrobe with a nice on trend selection of sports wear, despite the high street accessibility, on a student budget the line is fairly pricey. A pair of black, low rise leggings will set you back £38, and a print wrap jacket by £135.
The success of Ivy Park comes just as the singer releases her stunning visual album Lemonade which is sure to make just as high an impact. The singer songwriter, actress and model can now add fashion designer to her already incomparable list of accomplishments with this latest offering of clothing to the 21st century woman.

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