Look, I know that by now we have all seen at least some incarnation of the Olympic national outfits. There are some clear winners in the fabulousity department, as well as some that will…well….how shall I put this….will surely keep the polyester industry from going under this quarter.
The opening ceremonies are underway in the background as I write this. Personally, I find the whole ceremonial concept a bit heavy-handed this time around. Kenneth Branagh in mutton chops and a top hat (!?), James Bond giving the Queen a lift to the games (cool, if not a bit superfluous), those chimneys, that….wait….are those sheep!?
I appreciate the challenges Danny Boyle must have faced in his effort to capture something as broad as the history of the UK, and portray it in his trademark high-concept way. Yet it all seems just a bit disjointed and off-message to me. Assuming of course, that the message is that athletes from widely varying backgrounds and circumstances will unite on UK soil, bound-together by a common love of sport and hosted by a nation with a rich history. Of course, I may have just assumed that wrongly. Perhaps this year the message is that Great Britain corners the market on dapper tailoring, livestock, and period dramas, in which case I support the effort in its entirety, as the message is spot-on. Although the Italians might have something to say about the tailoring bit.
So. Speaking of tailoring, lets look at some of the national outfits for the athletes, shall we?
Ten Notable Olympic National Outfits from the London Summer Games Opening Ceremony, Class of 2012, In No Particular Order
photos courtesy of Yahoo
1. Best Example of Understated Chic Minimalism - Denmark
|Designed by Bestseller, a Danish retailer that I will surely be visiting in the future.|
2. Most Likely to be Mistaken For An Elderly Member of a Bus Tour Group
This one was a close race, resulting in a tie between....
|Windbreakers. Not pictured: the orthopaedic shoes and the Kleenex tissues stuffed up the sleeves.|
Designed by Bogner
and New Zealand
|Boxy jackets, frumpy dresses, a dreary print in a morose palette...but they have nice smiles.|
Designed by Rodd and Gunn's Irena Prikryl
3. Best Impression of a Cruise Ship Lounge Act - Russia
|Thanks very much, we'll be on the Lido deck at eight....|
Designed by Bosco
4. Most Likely to be Mistaken For the Office IT Guy - USA
|I don't hate it, and I know that there was another incarnation of this with a blazer and a beret, but this version is looking just a little too "corporate workwear" for my liking. We are just one khaki pant, lanyard and mobile phone clip away from full-on IT guy territory. Designed by Ralph Lauren|
5. Most Underwhelming Effort By a Talented Designer
Another tie between...
|Again, I don't hate it, but....meh. Designed by Stella McCartney|
Designed by Giorgio Armani and Miuccia Prada
6. Most Likely to Ask You if You Want Fries With That - Spain
|These photos were Tweeted by the athletes. The look on his face (left) says it all.|
Designed by Bosco, a double-offender! (They also designed Russia's look).
7. Most Likely to Ask You to Return Your Seat Backs and Tray Tables to the Upright Position
|Designed by Jeff Banks, who says he was inspired by The Great Gatsby,|
that rumble you can hear is F. Scott Fitzgerald rolling over in his grave.
8. Best Yell-Yeah, Now That’s What I’m Talkin’ About Look of the Opening Ceremony
|A fresh, appropriately Dutch colour palette, a nod to the classics, while still maintaining modern tailoring and silhouettes. Well done, Netherlands! Goed gedaan! Boo-YAH!|
Designed by Murray Coattee for Suit Supply
Thoughts? Comments? Did you see the opening ceremony? What say you? Irreverent and visionary or overworked and shambolic? Discuss.