Ralph, Stella and Giorgio Give the Olympics a Surge of Style
With less than 100 days until the Olympic torch lights up London, there’s a frenzy over the athletes, naturally, but there’s also a major showdown brewing between fashion houses who are designing the clothing for the teams. America’s athletes will be dressed for the opening and closing ceremonies by none other than Ralph Lauren, who’s an old hat at the gig. He’s done it for both the winter and summer games alike. The Brits will be dressed by Stella McCartney. For those questioning her ability to propel performers with her high style, she’s been working with Adidas since ’04. And not to be outdone, the Italian team has hired Giorgio Armani to outfit them on and off the courts. But who’ll come out on top? You’ll have to wait for the games in August for a medal count, but we’ve got a preview of the athlete’s gear kits. You decide who’s bringing the most style to the games this summer.
While his main line has been known to riff on everything from the allure of the Old West to the Jazz Age and most recently, Downton Abbey, Ralph’s collection for the 2012 Olympics goes back to what he’s known for worldwide: clean, American sportswear.
Polos, oxford cloth shirts and more are emblazoned with varsity-style accents in red, white and blue. It’s got a yacht or country club vibe overall, especially with pieces like the women’s closing ceremony shirtdress-style separates and the mens’ repp-tie belt. The collection’s not just for athletes, though. Key pieces from the Olympic series will be available for purchase online and at Ralph’s boutiques nationwide.
While she’s known for tailoring and cozy knitwear, Stella McCartney’s kits for Team GB take more from her line of yoga gear for Adidas than her Paris runway shows.
Riffing on the Union Jack, McCartney’s deconstructed the iconic flag (leaving little chance of a Ginger Spice moment at the Olympics) and married it to the technology of Adidas’ performance wear.
For the Italian team, Giorgio Armani’s diffusion brand Emporio Armani will be outfitting the athletes for the summer competition. In the promotional video, athletes Anzhelika Savrayuk, Antonietta Di Martino, Matteo Aicardi and Andrea Cassara showcase the outfits in their respective sports. Savrayuk glitters in rhinestones for rhythmic gymnastics and the others showcase the EA7 line’s blend of style and performance for fencing and more. Like the Ralph Lauren Olympic collection, the EA7 collection will be available for purchase in-store. And we’re guessing this chic, sexy collection might just be the thing to get you to abandon your Lululemons, love them as we do!