The Opening Ceremony Runway

Hello-Hello, and welcome to a Monday.  Did you watch any of the Olympic activities over the weekend? Here at the Prepatorium more than a few hours were spent parked in front of the television. Friday night’s Opening Ceremony was enjoyable, although it seemed long.

We move now to that every-two-year ritual here at TPP InterGalactic HQ, a look at what varying teams wore for the occasion. We begin with part of a story in Canada.com, it sets the scene much better than I could. From that article:

Communism really is dead. You can tell by the clothes.

The last time the Russians hosted an Olympic ceremony, back in 1980, the average Moscovite was wearing bulletproof beige stockings and a coat woven from old tea cozies… for now, Russia is wearing its modernity on its sporty, microfiber sleeve and hoping we all drink the vodka-laced Kool-Aid.

It’s certainly a lot sexier than the old Communist-era cardboard garb, and it showed in the way the athletes paraded around the stadium during the opening ceremonies Friday. There was a look of pride not only in the eyes of the host nation, but in the eyes of their former Communist allies.

From China to Kazakhstan, once dowdy teams were skipping and waving flags in their national finery – all paid for and designed by multi-national sporting goods companies looking for international airtime.

The color palette for Kazakhstan’s uniforms is one I like, a sunny yellow with turquoise and a touch of gray.

Courtesy Photos

Courtesy Photos

Below, Kazakhstan team entering the stadium.

Sochi 2014 Winter Games Facebook

Sochi 2014 Winter Games Facebook

I also liked Slovenia ‘s colors.

Courtesy Photos

Courtesy Photos

Designed by a Slovenian architect, Sandi Murovec, the uniforms were made by Chinese sportswear company Peak. Below, the team heads into the stadium.

Slovenia Olympic Team Twitter

Slovenia Olympic Team Twitter

Our next look features a rather prep label, Lacoste created the uniforms for France.

Courtesy Photos

Courtesy Photos

  • Thoughts from Bleacher Report: “Now see, this is what we’re talking about here. The perfectly tailored jackets almost sit like blazers on each athlete. Couple that with matching cap and scarf, and you have one of the best uniforms on the night.”
  • And from Stylelist Canada: “How can your uniform not be good if it’s designed by Lacoste? We love pretty much everything about the jackets, right down to the French flag alligator logo.”

The athletes entering the stadium.

Lacoste Facebook

Lacoste Facebook

  • From Flare magazine: Drawing inspiration from the company’s heritage and founder René Lacoste, who was an Olympic medallist in the 1920s, athletes donned tailored heather grey outerwear; men in a quilted three-button blazers and the women in belted jackets.

And a wider shot.

Sochi 2014 Facebook

Sochi 2014 Facebook

  • USA Today wasn’t as appreciative of the ensembles: “France was in a getup that made athletes look like your Dad going to work on a chilly day.”
  • From the National Post: “Perhaps inspired by Ralph Lauren’s example of supersized polo pony logo (the better for TV cameras to see it at a distance) René Lacoste’s signature crocodile is writ similarly large, in the French flag stripe. Nonetheless, très chic.”

One of the most discussed uniform looks was worn by Germany, with many ascribing a political statement to Willy Bogner’s designs for Adidas.

Bogner Facebook

Bogner Facebook

  • Slice Canada had this to offer: “….everyone was talking about Germany. The rainbow print uniforms are loud (to say the least) mixing bold patterns and stripes.
  • From USA Today: “The Germans’ rainbow ensemble, a thinly veiled political statement in opposition to Russia’s anti-gay laws, was one of the biggest stories leading up to the Opening Ceremony. And the uniforms did not disappoint in person — Germany’s delegation was so bright, they could likely be seen from space.Bonus points to Germany for being one of the few countries to not dress exactly like their flag…even if they ended up looking like a bag of Skittles instead.
Bogner Facebook

Bogner Facebook

They certainly were vibrant.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

From Canada’s National Post:

Surely visible by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in space, it’s a photo finish between the official Sochi volunteers (who look like they’ve just crossed the finish line of one of those paint-splattering Color Runs) winter sports powerhouse Germany’s rainbow duffle coats (the standard-issue floral red snow pants swapped for white by some athletes), with matching red floral toques, all by Bogner – although given the controversy about these being Putin’s anti-gay games, the colours are not meant to be symbolic of protest.

©2014 XXII Olympic Winter Games

©2014 XXII Olympic Winter Games

Opinions varied on the Lithuanian uniforms, made by Audimas.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

  • The Guardian: “The Lithuanian team also had a pretty smart ouftit – half kiwi, half cucumber.”
  • However, USA Today placed this look on their list of Five Worst Uniforms, asking “Was this the unfortunate result of a Sprite sponsorship? And shouldn’t these outfits have a biohazard warning symbol somewhere?”
IOC

IOC

Sweden’s uniforms were made by retailing giant H & M.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

As seen on the team.

©2014 XXII Olympic Winter Games

©2014 XXII Olympic Winter Games

  • Stylelist Canada: “How cool are those coats?! The asymmetrical zipper and royal blue colour are perfect, but the leggings look like they belong to a different outfit.”
Courtesy Photos

Courtesy Photos

Interested shoppers can’t purchase the exact same pieces as those worn by the team members. But there are similar items being offered by the retailer.

H & M Facebook

H & M Facebook

The Polish uniforms are by OTCF.

Cpourtesy Photo

Cpourtesy Photo

Reaction from Styleist Canada:

The ombre effect on Team Poland’s jackets was pretty neat, but it would have been cool to see in red — since it’s one half of their flag.
IOC

IOC

I actually liked the minimalist look.

The Ukrainian uniforms generated some buzz.

Olympic Committee of the Ukraine Facebook page

Olympic Committee of the Ukraine Facebook page

From USA Today:

Step one: Look at these Ukrainian jackets an inch away from your screen.

Step two: Slowly start to move your eyes further and further away.

Step three: Stare long enough and cross your eyes a bit, and you’ll see a hidden 3-D picture.

Team GB looked as one might expect. Understated and refined.

Team GB Facebook

Team GB Facebook

We even have a glance at the British look for more formal functions, like the Sochi opening reception. These pieces are by Britain’s Oliver Brown.

Team GB Oliver Brown

Team GB Facebook

Reaction from StyleList Canada: We love a puffer coat as much as the next person and we think they look good on team GB, but we would’ve liked a little more excitement.”

Adidas has been making the UK’s Olympic uniforms since 1984.

Adidas

Adidas

Next, Team Canada, the uniforms are by Hudson’s Bay.

Derek Kent, Team Canada Chief Marketing Officer

Derek Kent, Team Canada Chief Marketing Officer

From the Wall Street Journal’s live blog:

  • Oh I am loving Canada’s red pea coats! Classy! Oh Canada, I want one!
  • So far, seems Canada’s snuggly coats are in first place.

A closer look at the Hudson’s Bay coats, from left to right: the Wool Duffle coat is immensely popular (and very reasonably priced, the women’s is just $199) , the Softshell Colourblock Jacket, and Reversible Quilted jacket.

Hudson's Bay

Hudson’s Bay

And how the parka looked on Team Canada.

Hudson Bay  Twitter Feed

Hudson’s Bay Twitter Feed

An interesting aside: the uniforms worn by team members are made in Canada, but those being sold to consumers are imported.

Italy’s uniforms are Giorgio Armani creations.

Courtesy Images

Courtesy Images

They are part of the company’s EA7 technical sportswear brand.

Courtesy Images

Courtesy Images

This is the style worn Friday night.

Courtesy Image

Courtesy Image

A better view.

IOC

IOC

Then there is Norway. The folks at USA Today weren’t crazy about the chapeaux worn by the Norwegians.

The first rule of wearing a newsboy cap: Never wear a newsboy cap.

So say you’re Norway, and you’ve already broken that rule. Hopefully you’re wearing a basic newsboy cap in a solid neutral color.

Nope! You’re wearing a metallic silver newsboy cap.

©XXII Winter Olympic Games

©2014 XXII Winter Olympic Games

Bleacher Report shared a similar response upon seeing the hats: “Those hats…I just don’t really know what to do about those hats. It’s like Newsies set in the future. The rest of the outfit is not so bad—I kind of enjoy the blue pants with red zippers—but I just can’t get past the hats.”

One of the snappiest looks will be seen on athletes from the Netherlands, the team’s more formal uniforms are by Suitsupply.

Courtesy Photos

Courtesy Photo

Asics did the sporting styles.

Asics

Asics

As seen on team members Friday night.

©2014 XXII Olympic Winter Games

©2014 XXII Olympic Winter Games

  • Bleacher Report’s comments: “You just knew the Netherlands would show up with their custom orange, and they didn’t disappoint. This is an awesome look, and I want one of those beanies!”

There has been so much said about Team USA’s Ralph Lauren uniforms, you don’t need me to start nattering away on the topic.

Ralph Lauren Facebook

Ralph Lauren Facebook

The best photos are those tweeted, Facebooked and shared on Instagram.

Instagram

Instagram

You have to love the countries wearing shorts to the Winter Olympics. Below, the Cayman Islands (in flip-flops) and Bermuda.

IOC

IOC

Russia’s uniforms were designed by Bosco.

NBC Olympics

NBC Olympics

  • From Bleacher Report: “Strong, strong showing from the home team. I need one of those jackets in my closet immediately. That is awesome. Half of the Sochi budget probably went into those coats. Worth it.”

An enormous collection of clothing and accessories is available.

BOSCO

BOSCO

From the Wall Street Journal‘s live blog:

They’ve saved the best for last, which is to say themselves. Team Russia have impressive chunky knitwear and the women long fur-trimmed santa coats in blue, white and red. Nice effort.

And here you see them in action. The crowd exploded in cheers when the Russian team started walking into the stadium.

Socchi 2014 Facebook

Socchi 2014 Facebook

  • USA Today: “The U.S. went out of the box and that’s a good thing. Not good enough to beat Russia and its Santa suits, however. Those things were awesome.
  • KSDK-TV: The Russians thoroughly played into their cultural heritage for their Opening Ceremony ensembles, which is more that most other countries can say. However, they ended up looking like they were headed to SantaCon.

If people thought Germany’s uniforms were loud vivid, those worn by the thousands of Russian volunteers are equally bright.

Courtesy Photos

Courtesy Photos

They look even brighter in the sunlight.

Slice Canada

Slice Canada

We hope you are enjoying the Olympics as much as we are!

 

3 Comments

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3 Responses to The Opening Ceremony Runway

  1. Thanks for your interesting and timely piece! I hadn’t realized all the details you pointed out here, so thank you for doing so. Props to Germany–I am sure that was a statement! I like how the world is still making statements about the politics of the game while not being disruptive–I think it’s classy and just right.
    So what did you think of America’s sweaters? Personally, I thought they were cute, but I know they were controversial.
    Thanks again!

  2. Little Red

    Love both Team GB and FR! Definitely a very refined look from both teams.

  3. Great post! I like Canada’s and Slovenia’s the best….I always like the bright colors best but some of them were a little too wild for my liking!

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