IN THIS SECTION
Carving turns through the years of skiwear
Close your eyes for a minute, and let’s think about ski fashion over the last few decades. Do you conjure up images of neon tights and leg warmers? Big hair, big skis and big everything? And while you might have thought those day-glow separates were a thing of the past, they’re back!
Watching clothing style trends and how they seem to fade away, only to reappear—whether you like it or not—is a fascinating phenomenon that occurs throughout the fashion world. In skiwear, these fashion trends come and go just as swiftly as those on the runway—which we can all be thankful for. Because, let’s face it, clearly not everyone looks good in a tight pink, one-piece Bogner ski suit swishing down the slopes. To gain some insight into this realm of outerwear trends over the last four decades, a few local experts helped us carve turns through the history of skiwear.
Kate Rosso is a Ketchum fixture in the outdoor industry. Her husband, Bob, founded The Elephant’s Perch in 1976 and Kate has worked as a buyer for the store since 1988. She explains that the general boomerang effect that the fashion world is famous for includes the ski scene, “Bright colors that were so popular in the ’70’s have come back, including neon!”
Kate explains that, after decades of having no choice but to don men’s styles, women are important players in guiding today’s skiwear trends. “In the early ’80’s, we saw women’s styles and fits being added to many outdoor lines,” she says, “whereas before we had to succumb to unisex sizing, which was never very flattering.”
Kate’s favorite trend in skiwear is clothing that actually fits. “I’m happy that pant waists for women run from low to high now so that a gal can choose what looks good on her shape,” she says. “Can we finally say goodbye to the ‘muffin top?’ … I hope so!”
As for Sun Valley, Kate believes that we’re more “fashion forward” when it comes to outdoor apparel than the country is in general. One trend that’s particular to the Wood River Valley is that local skiers and snowboarders prefer skiwear with no logos, or at least subdued ones, which Kate says is contrary to the majority of the nation’s consumers.
A buyer for the Brass Ranch for 15 years and the current retail director for Sun Valley Company, Kelly Mitchell agrees with Kate’s fit-first mantra for skiwear. As she explains, when buying for their stores, “Fit is first, function is second and uniqueness is third.”
Kelly says that for their specific skiwear style niche (which is less technical and more “high fashion” than The Elephant’s Perch), color has trended well, as have embellishments, detailed construction and animal prints. She typically sees trends last for seven years because, as she explains, “they take at least that long to fully develop.” Kelly says that current trends that are hot in Sun Valley are “luxe accents,” like leather and faux fur trim, as are products with environmentally conscious initiatives, such as those using recycled materials or companies like Patagonia that give back percentages of sales to good causes.
“Fashion runways inspire everything, from homes to cars, and skiwear is no exception,” Kelly says. This season, she says to look for metallics, our favorite day-glow colors like bright pink and turquoise, as well as animal prints on the slopes. Try one of these styles this season to feel super hip—just make sure that you don’t wear them all at once. -Margot Ramsay
Working Up A Sweat
Local fitness trends from Jane Fonda to Kettlebells
From the sweatband-clad step aerobics and Jazzercise workouts of yesteryear, to the booming popularity of Pilates, yoga and CrossFit, fitness trends are an important part of the exercise vernacular, especially in active mountain towns like Ketchum and Hailey. Throughout the years, fitness trends have steamrolled their way into immense popularity, only to seemingly fall off the mat, never to be heard from again. So we talked to a few local aficionados to learn more about the history of the fitness scene in Sun Valley.
Margie Caldwell Cooper has seen her fair share of fitness trends; she’s been in the business since the days of leg warmers and Jane Fonda workouts. During the early ’80’s in the Valley, she taught group exercises in a garage in the Ketchum industrial park on double-padded carpet over concrete, which Margie says is a “sure-fire recipe for shin splints!” Margie started teaching classes at the Sun Valley Athletic Club soon after it was built in 1984 and has remained a prominent figure in the local fitness industry.
From those days of high impact jumping and lunging, the fitness world has steadily evolved. As Margie explains, “We began to connect with the body and its need to move rhythmically and we needed a fun factor. So we dressed up and used current popular music during the step classes of the ’90’s.” Move on to now, and Margie explains that fusion classes, which blend Eastern and Western styles, are more holistic and have become popular. “We make sure people not only stretch, but do cardio, strength, meditate and add healing modalities to their routines,” she says.
Margie teaches Pilates and yoga and calls these fitness styles “balance training exercises” that work the deep core muscles. She says that those trends which foster the mind/body connection, like Pilates and yoga, have staying power in that “they help people to focus and connect not only with themselves, but with the immediate environment, which means fewer stimuli from media, screens, cell phones and noise in general.” Margie says that she, along with the current industry, is more focused on a moderate approach, “one with less high-intensity training, but that includes all the aspects
Along with the quieting trends like Pilates, another newer popular fitness movement is anything but quiet. CrossFit, which now has specialized gyms in Hailey and Ketchum, is focused on strength and high-intensity, full-body exercises. CrossFit started in 2000 in California, when videos showing athletes doing unthinkably difficult workouts went viral. Since then, over 2,000 CrossFit studios have opened up throughout the country. Alex Margolin is a local CrossFit instructor and a trainer with more than 27 years of experience. “CrossFit gyms are amazing instructional facilities where members of the gym get top-notch coaching in a variety of movements such as barbell and Olympic lifting, kettlebells, basic gymnastics, body weight exercise and more,” Alex explains, adding, “the beauty of a CrossFit gym is that if you show up regularly, you will get the best fitness results of your life.”
As for whether CrossFit has staying power or is just another passing workout fad, Alex says, “I believe Crossfit is more than just a trend. It focuses not only on high intensity, interval-type training, which is beneficial because, when done right, you can get an intense workout done in an hour, but it also promotes a supportive, community-driven environment that focuses on nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.”
Regardless of the fitness trends, exercise in general seems to be the Wood River Valley’s real “movement.” Jason Fry, CEO of the Wood River YMCA, explains, “I see people who train regularly just so they’re better equipped to prevent injury or perform at a higher level in their ‘real’ sport, which is often skiing, biking, hiking or running.” Jason proves to be a welcome voice of reason in this crazy world of fitness trending. “I often say that fitness is like brushing your teeth; a little bit everyday will keep things shiny and bright. The fact is,” he says, “that fitness as a whole is not a trend or fad. It is something that’s critical to maintaining a healthy, well-balanced life.” Amen to that! -Margot Ramsay
Food Trends and Diets
Chowing down through the decades
Before trendy diets and heart disease dictated our caloric intake, meat and potatoes were the kings of dining out. In 1970s Ketchum, the Pioneer Saloon was a sure bet on a Friday night for a mouthwatering slab of prime rib and a ski-boot-sized baked potato. Louie’s offered family-friendly pizza and the Christiania served escargot afloat in butter and garlic.
Forty years later, “the Pio” and “The Christy” still retain a loyal following (Louie’s is now in Meridian) and attract new fans each winter when the snow falls.
By the time the ’80s rolled around, fast food had taken over and heavily contributed to national obesity and diabetes rates skyrocketing. And with all that fattening food came a new trend—dieting. When “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution” was published in 1992, it caused a sensation, allowing dieters to eat all the hot dogs they wanted—sans the bun, of course. Carbohydrates were the enemy. The latest version of carb-free eating, the Paleo diet, has tongues wagging with its caveman’s regime of protein, fruit and vegetables, while eliminating dairy, grains and processed foods.
Thanks to the growing eat-local movement, locavores (people who purchase and eat food grown locally or regionally) are bolstering small farms and healthier eating. Julie Johnson owns NourishMe, a Ketchum market that sells organic produce, meats, dairy, raw and gluten-free products and knows the farmers she patronizes. “Since the ‘70s our food has gotten more unhealthy. We’re trying to take that back,” she explains. “The value of food is much greater if it doesn’t have to go very far or is picked when ripened on the vine. (Nowadays) we want to know what’s been sprayed on our food.”
In addition to pesticides and growth hormones used in growing food that have given us pause, gluten (a storage protein found in grains) is causing concern. Gluten-intolerant Americans have created a growing niche market. Ketchum’s Cloverstone Bakery, founded by Colleen Teevin, offers gluten-free breads, muffins and cookies. The biggest challenge for gluten-free foods is making them taste good. “It’s hard to find really good gluten-free products that can pass the blindfold test, so that’s something we strive for,” she says.
Five years ago, Molly Brown saw a need in Ketchum and filled it with Glow Live Food Café, an organic, vegan eatery and health food store. “I wanted to open Glow initially because I am so passionate about helping people feel their best, to educate people on how to be balanced, athletic, high energy and vegan,” she explains. Molly feels that by eating well, people live well and “really thrive in all aspects of their life: emotionally, physically, spiritually.”
So whether you’re a Pioneer kind of guy or a Glow kind of girl, therein lies the beauty of Sun Valley cuisine—a town that offers something for everyone, carnivore to gluten-free herbivore.-Jody Orr
Heal Your Body
Inspire positive change
The Sun Valley Wellness Festival is an annual gathering of speakers and practitioners educating and helping enrich peoples’ lives. The Sun Valley Wellness Institute was founded in 2005 to provide education on health and wellness through speakers and workshops, including the Sun Valley Wellness Festival. Past keynote speakers have included Deepak Chopra, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marianne Williamson, Dan Millman, Robert Thurman, Dr. Jill Bolte (“My Stroke of Genius”) and Dr. Eben Alexander (“Proof of Heaven”). This year, the Festival is bringing Diana Nyad as a featured speaker. Last year, Nyad accomplished a life-long dream of completing a 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, After the grueling 53-hour journey, Nyad says, “I have three messages. One is we should never ever give up. Two is you are never too old to chase your dreams. And three is it looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team.”
This four-day festival features workshops, presentations and classes, along with the keynote address on Friday, May 23, 2014, and a free Wellness Expo in the Limelight Room at the Sun Valley Inn all day Saturday and Sunday and from 9am to 2pm on Monday.- SVM Staff