The Olympics and fashion- hmmmm. The two don’t traditionally fall hand in hand do they. But being an avid follower of fashion I look for fashion everywhere. And London 2012 had its fair share of it. I would go as far to say that sport has never looked so good!
It all started at the opening ceremony, where a wondrous display of music, dancing and of course a ridiculously long parade of athletes and flags occurred at the Olympic stadium. It was a humbling sight to watch all these dedicated and talented athletes proudly walk out to represent their country…but some of the team kits? WOW. I was mildly offended by the loud and rather garish Bosco Sport red and white blaring pattern of Russia’s kit, bemused by the Czech Republic’s wellies (were they making fun of us?!), and quite simply shocked at the German’s lack of outfit and colour coordination. The Americans had Ralph Lauren appointed to make their kits. While their kit made an impact and indeed looked very smart, I couldn’t help but think they looked like one huge group of airline staff…
So thank goodness for good old fashioned Italian style. Italy rocked up looking ready for the catwalk in sophisticated blue designs accessorised with sleek neckerchiefs and ties by Giorgio Armani. Jamaica looked effortlessly cool of course- and how couldn’t they with Bob Marley’s daughter Cedella as designer. A sports luxe kit with a hint of military alongside bright colours and pattern perfectly represented the country that brought us the fastest men in the world. And if Usain Bolt is going to wear it, it has to be cool. The Netherlands also impressed with a rather fun and contemporary block-coloured kit. A bold orange mac with blue shift dress combo were distinctly on-trend.
And of course, we cannot fail to mention team GB. At first I was VERY wary of the white and gold Elvis-esque ensembles but hey, it’s the Olympics, we were after gold medals- you can’t get more literal! Team GB were the stars of the ceremony and the gold and white kit firmly stood out whether for the right, or the wrong reasons. Stella McCartney, who designed the performance kits for Great Britain, was quick to escape responsibility explaining that Next created the opening ceremony outfits.
McCartney, who impressively dressed all 541 team GB members reworked the union jack flag into some of the most stylish, patriotic and of course functional sportswear ever seen. Working alongside Adidas, the main aim was to create a uniform which united the huge GB team as one. The Kit will now be exhibited at the Design Museum in London.
So the Kits were all in all, rather newsworthy, a popular talking point. And the fashion imitated the Olympic flame by failing to diminish. The closing ceremony was both a time to celebrate and mourn the end of the games. I myself was surprised by how obsessed I became with the Olympics- what on earth am I going to watch now?! What did I even watch before?! But ultimately partying was on the forefront of everybody’s minds.
Celebrating both the athlete’s achievements and the best of British culture, the closing ceremony at one point was suddenly transformed into a huge catwalk- of Olympic proportions. And casually popping out from huge photographs of themselves (shot by Nick Knight for Vogue) came only Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, David Gandy and Lily Cole among others, dazzling in stunning gold creations. Sequins, luxury, oomph! The designs which came from designers including McQueen, Burberry, Erdem and Mrs Victoria Beckham (who looked sensational in GilesGilesGiles for her epic spice girls performance), had the wow factor. A moving tribute was also given to Alexander McQueen with the iconic skull shapes of McQueen formed by black-clad soldiers. And let’s not forget Emelie Sande, who rather weirdly kept popping up in both ceremonies, flying the flag for rising designer Jonathon Saunders.
With David Bowie’s fashion blaring out for the world to hear as the models strutted around a union jack shaped catwalk, and some of the most prominent designers and stars of fashion in attendance, the worlds of sport and fashion were married, resulting in a truly wonderful celebration of British talent.
London 2012- THE best Olympics yet!