With the catwalks awash in Olympic inspired clothing and participants in the Games posing for Vogue, fashion is in the midst of a love affair with London 2012. This is, in no small part, driven by the fact the at someone has to clothe thousands of athletes for official ceremonies, competition, podiums and even just living in the Olympic Village, making the games the most watched fashion parade on the planet. For the last few months, brands ranging from high end designers to the high street have been releasing teasers for their own Olympic kits, including fan wear for us armchair athletes to show their patriotic support. Now that the opening ceremony has taken place, and the games are in full swing, here is a taste of what athletes will be wearing throughout the games.
Stella McCartney has been making headlines for her design efforts for Team GB’s kit. McCartney, alongside sportswear brand Adidas, designed some 590 items featuring a stylised version of the Union Jack, including competition gear and Villagewear, for relaxing post-match. For the rest of their Games-time look, including the Opening Ceremony outfits, British athletes will be sporting designs from high street brand Next. For formal occasions there’s slim cut navy suits with subtle Union Jack branding – the flag is laser cut into the women’s dress and woven right into the fabric of the men’s dress shirt.
Giorgio Armani is keeping things simple and sophisticated with his looks for Team Italy, which he has created under the Emporio Armani EA7 line. Each athlete has received a pair of suitcases packed with around 50 white and midnight blue pieces, including Bermuda shorts, colour blocked polo shirts and a track suit with the words for the Italian national anthem printed on an inside pocket.
Prada is dressing the country’s sailing squad – CEO Patrizio Bertelli is an avid sailor – in a sporty mix of navy, white and royal blue, with a flash of red provided by the company’s logo.
The tiny republic of San Morino may only be sending four athletes to the Games, but they will surely be some of the best dressed. Italian luxury label Salvatore Ferragamo has created a fine kit, the women’s wardrobe includes a linen blazer, bow tie blouse, silk crepe dress and classic trench coat. The men’s looks include a navy suit with a faint pinstripe for official ceremonies, as well as a knit bomber jacket, cashmere polo neck and chinos. True to the country’s roots in leather goods, nappa leather shoes and calfskin bags are make up the sumptuous accessories.
Expect a lot of popped collars from the Americans with Ralph Lauren, known for his preppy designs, as the team’s official outfitter. Red, white and blue is prominent across the collection of polo shirts and dresses, crisp shorts and sweaters. The brand’s classic navy blazer, with signature polo pony prominently placed, topped white trousers and skirts for the Opening Ceremony ensembles. Finishing touches of a beret and red, white and blue scarf give the athletes the look of naval recruits.