London You’ve got to hand it to the "preppies" in high school in the 1980s it turns out they were perched on fashion’s cutting edge. The polo shirt,
, having passed from playing field to mainstream fashion,
, is declared the first item to cross over from sports design to trend.

Thanks to the likes of Ralph Lauren and the millions who bought into his faux polo set look, the shirt has earned its place in both sporting and fashion history.

As running shoes and track pants,
, leggings designed for skiers and tennis skirts made their way into everyday wardrobes,
, clothing originally designed for sports has changed the way we dress.

Just in time for the Beijing Olympics,
, the iconic Victoria and Albert Museum,
, renowned for its clothing collection and forward thinking fashion exhibits, has come up with a show that traces the influence of sport on the world of fashion.

Curator Ligaya Salazar has divided the exhibit into four themes: Dare, Display,
, Play and Desire.

"In terms of timing,
, we thought this would work because people are talking about and very aware of sport right now," she said ahead of the show’s opening two days ago.

The Dare exhibit looks at the cutting edge of sportswear, be it design or fabric.

It includes the Speedo LZR racing swimsuit that has caused much debate in the run up to the Summer Games,
.

Athletes were vying to wear the suit, which streamlines and lifts the body through cut and fabric,
100 Authentic Womens Shoes Air Jordan 5 Black Grape, but many ran into objections from national Olympic committees keen to keep their athletes in predetermined national uniforms or prepaid sponsorship deals.

The desire for medals meant that the British company Speedo won, and most nations have agreed to let their swimmers wear the new suits, which promise to shave vital split seconds off their race times.

Alongside the practical is a selection of items from the late ’90s by Prada,
.

"Prada Sport was the first fashion house that turned to sports fabric for their fashions," Salazar explains.

Nike’s move to buy luxury leather goods company Cole Haan resulted in this season’s sexy yet wearable Aurora Air slingback.

Ski clothier Burton teamed with Japanese streetwear designer Hiroshi Fujiwara and ended up with a grey pinstriped snowboarding outfit, sold under the iDiom label for 2007.

The Display exhibit examines the homemade tweaks on sportswear that transform it from mundane to fashionable.

"This is where individuality and uniformity are displayed through the reinterpretation of grey jersey and track suits,
," Salazar says.

The highlight here is the many uses of ubiquitous grey sweatpants by everyone from Yohji Yamamoto (black Adidas striped wrap dress) to Sonia Rykiel (grey track pants cut as high waisted dress pants) and the two men leading the trend to customize running shoes,
.

The work of I Saw and Nash Money, shown in all their quirkiness in a short video that’s part of the exhibit,
, led Nike to jump on the idea and launch its own custom design service for its iD trainers.

On to Play. Salazar says she used this part of the exhibit to see what fun designers have had with street fashion,
, be it ski wear or skateboard trends. The birth of the legging as fashion moment not once but twice in the past 20 years can also be found here.

In Desire,
, we find the grown up’s tickle trunk of fashion branded sportswear.

Who knew Chanel made a fishing bag as part of its Autumn/Winter 2008 collection,
, complete with reel case sporting the signature Chanel rope chain handle, rods, even flies?

Diamond crusted lace ends are also on offer,
Online Mens Air Jordan 5 Fire Red Black Tongue 2013, as is a Chanel surfboard and a bike and snowboard by British menswear designer Paul Smith.

So are about 100 of former skateboarder Kish Patel’s more than 1,000 pairs of running shoes.

For true sportswear junkies,
, the collection of Fila memorabilia,
, compiled by Englishman Phil Tucker and featuring vintage ’76 ’86 shorts and t shirts, evokes the innocent early days of branded sports clothing that many feel has lost its way amid big money and too much bling.

Tucker says he was drawn to Fila when he watched tennis great Bjorn Borg wearing its simple yet chic designs at Wimbledon.

The collection proved valuable enough for the sportswear giant to approach Tucker and offer to buy it from him. It turns out Fila did not have an archive of its own, so it was up to the self described "geek" to reintroduce the company to some of the best examples of sport fashion crossover ever produced.

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