From the cool to the outrageous to the downright sexy - clothes and accessories inspired by the rough-and-tumble game of soccer are ensuring that women don’t get bored while football mania rages.
Football boring? No way!
Think soccer and the image that springs to mind is of frenzied, predominantly male fans rooting for their favourite teams. That may very well be the case this month as football fever reaches a feverish pitch.
But that doesn’t mean that women miss out on the fun, while their male counterparts drool over the ball being kicked around in Seoul and Tokyo to the exclusion of everything else.
In fact thousands of women all over the world have already begun enjoying the month-long tournament as soccer-inspired fashion and merchandise on the world’s catwalks and in boutiques lure them to loosen their purse strings.
Dressed to be the football bride
Football is cool, trendy and it’s made an explosion in the unlikely world of haute couture.
While high fashion heavyweights such as Prada, Nina Ricci and Luis Vuitton are all dabbling in luxurious soccer merchandise, several unusual soccer-inspired motifs have created a splash.
One of them is an eye-catching French silk gown featuring a head-dress in the shape of a football above a traditional veil in the shape of a net and a black-and-white motif embroidered across the bodice.
The dress (photo) designed by a local Thai designer will hit the catwalks in early June in Bangkok, where brides-to-be can buy it for a cool 50,000 baht ($ 1,168).
Inspired by the "mystical" soccer ball
Another designer who is making waves with her football creations is South Korean Ji Haye, who is excited about her country hosting the World Cup.
So much so that she dedicated her last spring collection to the event. She was reported to have found the pentagon and hexagon motifs on a football as "mystical".
Inspired by the black and white ball, she is known for her billowing dresses with puffed sleeves made of a patchwork of hexagons and pentagons using sheer and matt silk.
The "football" shoulder line is her trademark whether on a bolero jacket or a crisp white blouse worn over a stiff skirt. And Ji Haye does not limit herself to a black and white palette, but indulges in vibrant colours for her creations.
One of her most stunning works so far is said to be an evening gown with a train encrusted with 15 kilos of Swarovski crystals showing the variations on the polygons of a football in a multitude of hues.
Even the French succumb to football fashion
Even the high-fashion capital Paris is not immune to the booming popularity of combining fashion and football.
The Celine Fashion house recently offered a collection dedicated to sportswear with Celine versions of shin guards and cleats: white ribbed leg warmers and delicately stitched leather sneaker-style shoes.
The clothes are trendy and sporty but with a distinctly refined Parisian touch: whether it’s brief athletic shorts and skirts, hooded sweatshirts, stretch tank tops.
Accessories include among others small round soccer ball purses with wrist straps, the hobo-style leather bags inspired by soccer balls and a wallet and leather cardholder said to have taken its cue from the referee’s penalty card.
Beckham the trendiest in the UK
In the UK, football fashion takes on an altogether different meaning what with women swooning over trendy, good-looking, football captain David Beckham.
Recently the fashion magazine Marie Claire put Beckham on the cover of its June edition, making him the first man to grace the cover in the magazine's 14-year-history.
Several high fashion stores in the UK have also introduced special World Cup ranges which include among others sequinned bikinis in the colours of the Union Flag.
For daring Japanese fans looking for "added support"
And in the host country of Japan, women soccer fans who aren’t content with just looking expensively pretty, but want to give a little extra-support to their teams, could try the specially designed "hat trick" bra.
The soccer-pitch green polyester bras by Triumph International Ltd. feature football-shaped pads in black and white imitation leather, topped with a trim designed to resemble a goal net.
The bra comes along with a pair of matching briefs, printed with an image of hands catching a ball. The pair costs 17,000 yen ($ 133) and is available in a limited edition at Japanese department stores.