By Diane Fermin Roeder
We tried our darnedest to stay up to watch the live broadcast of the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony in London on TV. Epic fail…we dozed off at 2am and instead, woke up at 7:30am.
Seeing as the live broadcast started at 4am, we initially missed the entire thing but thankfully, China still has vestiges of an Olympics hang-over after hosting it in 2008 so CCTV (state-owned national TV) is currently providing wall-to-wall coverage. They replayed the entire Opening Ceremony which made for a convenient and fun Saturday morning while I simultaneously stayed in bed and ordered a room service breakfast (Herr Hubby and I are still making the Four Seasons Guangzhou our temporary home).
The Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing was a tough act to follow…I still remember getting goosebumps from that show, a truly amazing feat by Chinese film director Zhang Yimou. Well, in opening this London Olympics, I think British film director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”, “The Beach”, “Trainspotting”) did a stupendous job; to quote the BBC’s most over-used words this morning, the Opening Ceremony was indeed “remarkable” and “extraordinary”. Although, personally, I would have been happy with a little bit more of David Beckham. I mean, this is the Olympics – we love seeing successful, stylish, impeccably groomed godlike athletes in tight, shiny suits, don’t we?
One thing which has become sort of a delicious Bamboo Stiletto ritual during the Games’ opening is watching the Parade of Athletes to check out the various teams’ outfits. For us, this segment of the Opening is like an international fashion show of multi-cultural style, modeled by a global assortment of eye candy, all in glistening peak physical condition. What’s not to “heart”? So….let the Games begin!
Here’s our Top 5 Picks for Most Stylish Teams (in no particular order or ranking):
One of the few teams that did separate but beautifully coordinating outfits for ladies and gentlemen, I especially loved how Team Denmark made their female athletes look so feminine. Beside the ladies, the gentlemen looked even more dashing and masculine in their navy blue-grey suits.
Team Serbia also had separate yet coordinating his and hers outfits, which they kept casual chic and cool. Dontcha love the girls’ perky blazer & shorts combo???Tennis champ and Serbian flag bearer, Novak Djokovic, wore his shirt carelessly untucked underneath his red pullover and, coupled with a rebellious stubble, was a statement in studied nonchalance.
oh, how the Dutch and I swear only the Dutch can pull off wearing orange trousers. Not only does Team Netherlands pull off the orange pants but when paired with their cobalt blue trench-style blazers and preppy white tennis cardigans, they looked downright poppin’! As an aside, I remember that this team was also on my most stylish list during the 2008 Olympics. Pale dove grey blazers and trousers paired with the most adorable orange ties, again which only the Dutch can pull off…
Get a load of the Dutch when they unveiled their Olympic uniforms a few weeks ago – won’t you love a bite of that orange trench? This is stuff that we actually do want to wear!
Team Sweden’s ebullient candy-striped sweaters just spelled adorable. Especially when paired with the ladies’ pleated minis. Very United Colours of Benetton. Note the colour coordinated kicks & laces…how Scandi-cute is that?
5.) South Korea
Natty nautical-inspired outfits from sportswear giant FILA who was responsible for South Korea’s look (four on the left were Opening Ceremony ensembles). Too bad we have no actual photo during the Opening Ceremony…Team SK looked so dang cute!!!
Special Mentions – for looking extra-stylin’ and/or festive as befitting the Olympics (again, in no particular order or ranking):
aah, the French never fail to live up to our style expectations. I mean, how GOOD do these athletes look? We especially have a weakness for their tennis players. And spot the cute little red ballet flats on the ladies? We HEART!
Btw, Team France really set the bar high for Olympic uniforms, unveiling these minimally stylish threads by Adidas a few weeks ago:
I thought Team USA worked it! Yes, yes, I know we’re not quite sure if the beret works…the French can carry a beret with requisite elan but Americans seem a bit ambivalent about it. Also, yes, we’re aware of the huge hoo-ha in the US upon realizing that these Ralph Lauren outfits were actually made in China. But hey, weren’t the Ralph Lauren uniforms back in Olympics 2008 – which also looked super stylin’, btw – also made in China? Where was the hoo-ha back then???oh Americans & the drama 🙂
When Team USA unveiled their uniforms, the Ralph Lauren/”Gossip Girl” Manhattan Upper East prep chic look is pitch perfect:
Team USA’s controversial Olympics uniforms, by Ralph Lauren. Regardless of where it’s produced, in my mind, what makes it look vaguely non-American are the French-style berets, with the red, white & blue stripe on the side. I have a Lacoste beret exactly like this, with the little alligator on the side in red, white & blue stripes! Perhaps a “newsie” cap would have been more American, more New York anyhow…
What a delightful festive surprise, Team Germany! Keeping flag colours to a minimum (accents only on trilbys) & instead rocking pastel pinks and cornflower blues, with darling matching scarves, was so un-German & so unexpected…we LOVED it. Btw, this team seemed to be one of the rowdiest & most boisterous (one girl clambered on top of a guy’s shoulders) that for a second I thought the Australians had paraded again! haha!
There’s something about the Brazilians that just make us smile and chortle. They’re just yummy-delicious! Team Brazil wore their colours in exuberant combinations, with ladies in mini-skirts showing off tanned athletic legs (and why NOT?), matching scarves loose around their necks…meowrrrr! What is it about these people, they just look so friggin’ SEKSI?!?!
and speaking of SEKSI…like the Netherlands, Team Paraguay also came up with outfits that we would love to get our Stilettos in. Check out this va-va-voom wrap & tie fire engine-red dress! The gentlemen in their bright blue blazers, snowy white trousers & crimson ties looked natty too.
Expected More Stylin’ From:
Admittedly, my expectations for Team Italy were MASSIVE, to begin with…I mean, their uniforms are designed by The Master himself, Giorgio Armani. Even the lowly deckhand staff working on this guy’s personal yacht are nattily attired, as featured once in Vogue (or was that Vanity Fair?). Anyway, these were the uniforms he unveiled for Team Italy a few weeks ago…ok, very Armani. Very understated. But what are they wearing for the Opening?
…and here’s Team Italy during the Opening Ceremony. Again, very understated. Stylish, yes.But VERY subdued. It’s not terrible, of course not, you can see even from just a TV screen’s perspective, these are exceptionally cut, extremely well-tailored suits. Just slightly underwhelming in terms of overall presentation. These are Italians, for goodness sakes, they’re supposed to rule with cool! I just expected a bit more LapoElkann dash and flair, not the constipated investment banker look. Fashion critics everywhere are raving about Team Italy’s look though.
Biggest “Huh?” Moment:
We expected a LOT from the host; Great Britain after all is the home of great,innovative, edgy designers, e.g. Stella McCartney, Christopher Bailey, Sarah Burton, to name a few. So when Team GB strolled out, we were like: “Huh?” Stella McCartney’s PR people were quick to tweet during the Opening Ceremony that these white & gold tracksuits are NOT hers – she only designed the athletes’ performance kits & village wear. Ouch! Apparently, these were done by British apparel retailer Next. Why in the world didn’t they get Christopher Bailey to do the Opening Ceremony outfits? What’s more cool Britannia than Burberry???
So, Stiletto-istas, that’s a wrap for our coverage of Olympics Opening Ceremony fashion. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! In closing, we leave you with a parting shot of the Olympic torch as carried by the tall cool drink of water that’s David Beckham, who we think was woefully under-utilized by Danny Boyle:
THIS is how Team GB should have rocked, y’all!
Did YOU watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in YOUR corner of the world? Which teams landed in YOUR Best Dressed and Worst Dressed List? Just some lighthearted fun this weekend, Stiletto-istas, let’s hear it from YOU!!!
***photos from CCTV (Official China TV broadcaster for the Olympics) Adidas, Fila, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren (for the non-Olympic shots)
Diane Fermin Roeder is a reformed marketing communications expert in the hospitality and financial service industries. She enjoys being an expat’s wife and founding wordsmith of DFR+word.works, a consultancy specializing in content solutions and development for luxury hotels and resorts in China. She carved a 15 year leadership career spanning the Philippines, Hong Kong, the US, and China, with an American MBA to boot. Diane suffers from an incurable addiction to killer stilettos. You may to The Bamboo Stiletto (personal blog) http://bamboostiletto.wordpress.com and Follow tweets: https://twitter.com/bamboostiletto