Designers Gun For Gold: Here’s a look at why the 2012 Games are a fashion delight

first_imgIn 1948, London staged the XIVth Olympics, also known as the Austerity Olympics because of post-World War II rationing. The sporting headlines were dominated by Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four golds in athletics. On the sidelines, though, history of a different kind was being written. The magical meeting,In 1948, London staged the XIVth Olympics, also known as the Austerity Olympics because of post-World War II rationing. The sporting headlines were dominated by Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four golds in athletics. On the sidelines, though, history of a different kind was being written. The magical meeting between Rosita Jelmini and Ottavio Missoni was then viewed as just another Games romance-she was a shy 16-year-old daughter of an Italian shawl maker; he was a handsome 27-year-old Italian hurdler. They had discovered that in addition to their mutual love of sport, fashion featured high on their lust list. As fashion and love collided, they came together to form brand Missoni.Several decades later, the love affair between fashion and sport has morphed into a full-blown relationship, complete with whims, tantrums and doublespeak. So if you thought the Olympics was a sporting spectacle that purely played itself out on the track and field, think again. The 2012 London Games showcases fashion like never before. No longer are athletes satisfied with designing their own outfits, as Florence Griffith-Joyner once did to a stunned reception. Today, brands are a must on the tracks. After all, nothing screams patriotism louder than a designer label. Wear your support, and get ready to witness what Giorgio Armani describes as “the most fashionable Games ever.”Cedella Marley with Usain Bolt.JAMAICAN RUSHUsain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, will be sporting an outfit designed by Cedella Marley. Yes, the name rings a bell. The daughter of reggae god Bob, Cedella is behind the Jamaican team’s outfits. Complimenting the designerwear will be Puma shoes. The designs reflect the colours of the Caribbean, moving from yellow to green shades.advertisementDesigned by Cedella, the ‘military’ jackets for the Jamaican team are embroidered with a Bob Marley patch, accompanied by song lyrics on the back. Go Jamaica! STELLA FOR TEAM GBDesigner Stella McCartney has been one busy woman. How do you give a creative twist to an outfit that screams utility and comfort? Lycra is not the most fetching material to work with, but the designer has managed to give Team GB a fashion headstart at the Games. The Union Jack, redrawn in two shades of blue, which is the centrepiece of the British team’s official kit, has been disapproved by many fans for McCartney having largely jettisoned the trademark flag-red from her design. She has also created an Olympic Village-wear collection for participants to wear off the field, and for fans to buy. The red of the Union Jack has been used as trimming on many of the 590 individual articles created for Team GB by Adidas. River Island has also joined forces with Adidas to create a Team GB sportswear collection for both men and women, which is decked in red, white and blue, save for some cropped vests with metallic prints; hoodies with Union Jack motifs; and dresses with lion detailing.The Union Jack and its colours are predominant references in the designerwear for Team GB, with prices starting at 16 (Rs 1,400).RALPH ALL THE WAYThe US team has fashion icon Ralph Lauren as their outfitter. The Ralph Lauren 2012 Olympic Collection features reissued heritage pieces from the 1930s and 1940s, including fleece warm-ups, a cricket-collar shirt and sweatshirts with USA appliqus featuring an updated 1948 crest. The colour palette matches the countrys flagred, white and blue. In addition, newsboy caps are making quite a statement this Olympic season.Trust the US to take patriotic fervour to extremes.Angered at uniforms being made in China,Senator Bernie Sanders said: “When millions are unemployed in the US, why arent our Olympic uniforms being made here?”THE ITALIAN JOBItalian athletes are being clothed, naturally, by Giorgio Armani. Designed by his EA7 Emporio Armani sportswear label, the collection features 50 pieces of clothing and add-ons. The palette is white and midnight blue, the country’s competitive colours. To add a swatch of patriotic fervour, inside each garment are words from the Italian national anthem.Every Italian athlete will be issued a set of Armani luggage, with an asymmetrically-zipped tracksuit to wear on the podium, warm-up kit,shorts,trousers,shirts,shoes and tees.AZERI FASHION BIASThe Republic of Azerbaijan has certainly marked a spot for itself on the global fashion map. Having roped in European luxury brand Ermanno Scervino as their official Olympics outfitter, the countrys competitors are all set to make a statement on D-Day. Scervino has designed both formal and casual apparel for the athletes, to be worn by them both on and off the field. Flaunting the colours of the Azeri flag, the kit blends the blue, red and green shades with the crescent moon and eight-point star, symbols of the republics flag, and adds to them a touch of designer signature vibe. The uniform has a strong-shouldered, notch-lapel navy blue jacket of heavy stretch cotton, with white chino trousers for men and white pencil skirts for women.advertisementlast_img

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