Jul 29, 2012

Team spirit

I'm sure you guys are among the one billion people worldwide who watched the recent Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony in London. And having a fashion-centric mind I could not help but to fuss about the uniforms of various contingents...

Too bad that a lot of the European contingents opted to stick to their usual nine-to-five business casual look, which I think is very sad. I mean, bring your nations' identity for the world to see, people! But of course a sporty look that is both smart and can represent your country, colour-wise. Case in point: the American team. Never mind the furor over the "made in China" controversy and the French-inspired berets, I think Ralph Lauren did a good job designing the teams outfits. "American preppy look" is what I was reminded of instantly.

 The American team Olympics Opening Ceremony uniform, designed by Ralph Lauren

Despite the classic sportswear look I do love team Netherlands' clever use of colour-blocking. Orange and navy blue looks pretty good in this case. VERY Jil Sander SS2011.

 Team Japan's striking red-and-white, on the other hand, can be mistaken for Chinese/ Canadian/ Singaporean teams' outfits.

Team Russia looks cool in this ensemble. Are those linen jackets? I'm dying to see a close-up of their uniform - look at the dark purplish pattern on the guy's shirt! And The Romanian team's choice of colour also caught my eyes - the mustard-grey combo is visually fetching.

The Swedish, on the other hand, can be way too practical sometimes. I like IKEA but rugby shirts and sneakers with colours that match the flag and grey cotton trousers? Come on, I think you guys are more creative than that. But on a lighter note, this is what I used to wear to the mall during my high school years. Ha! 

Harping on about creativity, the Germans evidently has proven be the creative lot with their reversible sports jacket. ( I know, the "pink for girls and blue for boys" idea is a bit off). But it the versatility of the jacket (which has a more formal inside layer) that is important.

Czech Republic is among, if not the most unique teams that night. This team was absolutely ready for the grey and rainy London with their umbrellas and wellies. 

Talking about national identity, there are a few teams which really went all out in portraying what their country is generally all about. My firm favorites are Mexico, Gambia and the Philippines. And a couple of images of female Muslim athletes modestly covered in hijab - simply beautiful.

The Philippines team in the Barong Tagalog-esque uniform.

Interesting latex-like fabric on Gambian athletes.

 Iranian athletes in modest hijabs.

 Leave it to the Mexicans when it comes to colour and personality. I absolutely adore all the combinations of hues, patterns and embroideries on the ponchos. Liking the fact that they look as if there was no uniform at all - just a colourful parade of mariachi band.

How about Malaysia, the country that always tries hard to expose their nation's identity, I hear you say? Obviously everything is too literal in this contingent - that all-too-familiar tiger stripes; yellow-orange and the red, which unmistakably represents courage and speed? And is that even Malaysian batik? Or just a cheap generic print on cheap polyester fabric? I refuse to comment further. Well, at least I do see some traditional garb here (tengkolok aka the headpiece and the sampin/ sarong).

Anyhow, feel free to laugh at my measly attempt on re-interpreting the casual/sporty sports event opening ceremony look:

Thrifted Tesco blazer, Cheap Monday jeans, Jil Sander shoes, Uniqlo hat, eBay sunglasses, U2 t-shirt, fourskin belt

*Images of Olympics contingents courtesy of adkinsrin.blogspot.com, yahoo.com, google.com

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