Oh The Humanity

source

As an expat, I always follow the rolling-out of the Olympic uniforms with great interest. Maybe because I'm a little sensitive about my beloved country's often-overblown caricatures that are so often portrayed as the "average American" in the world media. Whatever the reason,  you can imagine my disappointment when this came across the screen of my laptop.

Historically, I've always liked Ralph Lauren's sporting uniform designs; his preppy aesthetic generally melds quite well with the bright colours and bold patterns that are synonymous with sport. His work with the U.S. Open was has always been a hit, and his 2012 opening ceremony uniforms reminded me of a chic, well-fitting minimalistic version of my old Air Force uniform. In a good way.

I even see what he was going for with this. A sort of Aspen, apr├ęs-ski, casual "around the village" kind of a vibe.  I just wish it didn't look so much like something you might find at Walmart on the Crazy Cat Lady Festive Christmas Sweater rack. Yes, he sourced his materials and had everything made in the USA this time, but the finished product hardly does that effort justice.

Nice pea coats though.  I'll give him that. That's more like the Ralph Lauren that we know and love. I'd totally wear that.



Source

I suppose Olympic uniforms are always a bit on the wild side. They are supposed to be a celebration of one's nationality, and therefore tend to lean rather heavily on references to national dress, with an added element of whimsy, and (often spurious) efforts at utilising modern cuts and materials. But sometimes, they're just downright fugly.

If you're looking to feel better, there is a spot of schadenfreude to be had here. Although ours might have garnered the most negative publicity to date, we Yanks can rest assured that we are not the only ones who will be galavanting around in something tacky in 2014. Have a look.


These snazzy uniforms will distract you just long enough to not question why the hell you're watching curling. Is it wrong to admit that I kind of love this?

Source

And then there are the Canadians, making a nice quiet and polite statement. The lettering on the sweaters looks like it was printed with an old dot matrix printer circa 1987.  It conjures images of the old Pac Man, which I think would make a nice graphic addition to the front of the sweater. Nice touk though, eh?

source

Germany has decided on the gay pride look this year. Good for you Germany! In your face Vladimir Putin! Last week Putin was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that "gays have nothing to fear at the Winter Olympics as long as they leave children alone". If it hasn't happened already, will someone please explain the difference between a gay person and a pedophile to this poor confused man? I have to work tonight and just don't have the energy right now. 

source

Comments

  1. Honestly, I can't say I am impressed by any of the looks.
    Glad I am not participating in the Olympics... I am German ;-)

    Annette | Lady of Style
    2 x 60€ Valentine's Legwear Giveaway

    ReplyDelete
  2. Viewed as a single item, I agree that the RL sweater is a contender to win at an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. With the white pants and cool boots, worn by young beautiful athletes, I LOVE them! I will def cheer RL at the march of the US athletes when they enter the stadium in Sochi. Soooo American and prideful. I love the parkas for the German athletes, though I could only imagine them as wearable if they were just below the hip. I enjoyed your commentary, lots of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Holy Mother of Tim Gunn! These are all, "A lot of look". Can I just tell you that I became ever so briefly incontinent with your "Walmart on the Crazy Cat Lady Festive Christmas Sweater rack" reference.
    These are all. really. bad. I didn't know Ralph Lauren did magic mushrooms ;-P

    Alicia

    ReplyDelete
  4. hahaha...the Canadian look is a little dorky. I still think the best Olympic look was Roots outfitting the Canadian Team at the 1998 Olympics!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I heard that the Americans were warned not to wear their USA outfits outside the Olympic Village. No wonder! Kind of like a big flashing neon light. But the Norwegians, well, Norway gave us Ylvis and What Does the Fox Say. So those jackets are perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Val, I think someone just took one look at those uniforms and decided just to tell them that it was a matter of national security, to ensure that they get the least amount of exposure possible. That, and I suppose there is a real danger of inducing seizure in those in the population who are vulnerable.

      Delete
  6. Compared to some of the others the US and RL designs look quite good. They do scream novelty christmas jumper though so I kind of see where you're coming from. However, the peacoats are spot on!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really, really wanted to like those uniforms. I get the aesthetic he was going for but YIKES, sometimes genius is knowing when to stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree. I actually feel like this was SO CLOSE. The Fairisle turtleneck sweater that is peeking out from underneath that lovely pea coat would have given off the same vibe, but in a more subtle, way that would have been less of a charicature of the tacky American...

      Delete
  8. I like the colors of the German outfits, but you know how much I love bright colors. I watch Project Runway regularly. My question is: what is fashion forward? Thanks. M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make an excellent point. I suppose "fashion forward" really gets used interchangeably these days for "on trend". After all, nobody expects sporting uniforms to really be the harbinger of what's next in fashion...

      Delete

Post a Comment

Deep Thoughts...

Popular Posts