Sunday, July 29, 2012

London 2012 Parade of Nations Fashionistas

This past Friday were the much-awaited London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, officially signaling the start of the 2012 London Olympics of course. I was in NY on business and watched it at my hotel. I always love watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony for the fabulous spectacle that it always is (Can you say BEIJING!!!). This time around British filmmaker, Danny Boyle (of "Slumdog Millionaire" fame) was placed as the Artistic Director of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and he put on a fabulous show, taking audiences on a beautifully chaotic journey through many iconic moments in British history, music, and literature. While the show itself wasn't Beijing jaw-dropping incredible (it's hard to top that darlings!), the Boyle opening ceremony made for an awe-inspiring beginning to the world’s most legendary event.

Face Dress: The girls who held the names of the respective nations of the world, all wore these A line-shaped dresses featuring a photo of London 2012 Olympics volunteers--and sensible shoes.

But for me--as a fashion designer and fashion-watcher of sorts--what I most look forward to is the
Parade of Nations and the countries uniforms and "costumes". Here are some of my choices for the Fashion Fab, the Fashion Good" and the  "Oh Dear!" from the 2012 London Summer Olympics Parade of Nations, all sectioned by the separate "areas" and/or continents of the world:


The Netherlands: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these uniforms. For me, these were one of the best of all the 204 countries. They were designed by Suitsupply and Kudos to them! The colors were GREAT and noticeable from the nose-bleed seats in the stadium I am sure (I wasn't there so I wouldn't know, but I can only assume). The neon orange trench coat (I want ONE!), the matching pants, the dark blazers with white piping, the royal blue dresses. Oh, and to finish it all off, each uniform/outfit had a large tulip in its lapel. How do you say FABULOUS in Dutch? The look was chic, upper class trust funder from a very WASPY college. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade:  A

Belgium: I love any uniform that looks like they should be on some FAB flight attendants. And Belgium's uniforms fit the bill to a "T". They're  sexy, fashionable, and cheeky. Pop of color: check. Sleek styling: check. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: A

Czech Republic: OK, I am just not sure what Wellies, umbrellas, bedazzled-trimmed blazers with contrast lining and printed cropped leggings or white shorts has to do with the Czech Republic. I assume the rain boots and umbrellas were some sort of a nod to London and it's sometimes rainy weather. Nevertheless, there are so many things going on in these "uniforms" that it's almost as if their theme was "Tacky Tourist". For that, they get a Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: C+ (they get points for "kookiness")

Germany: Things I like: the bright baby blue and "Barbie pink" colors. We can certainly spot them from a mile away. But then the nylon puffy zip-up jackets seem a bit "Fall/Winter" for me and along with the white pants, do not really scream "Germany" (save the hats with the German flag colors). These uniforms look more appropriate for the crew of the Princess Cruises. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: C

Sweden: The fact that they could somehow transform the Swedish flag into a rugby shirt is fashion-commendable. One can certainly not confuse these kids with any other country that's for sure. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: B-

Denmark: First off, the Danish are BEAUTIFUL! They all look like Nordic Gene Studies in Pretty. They all kind of look related. And well, the fact that all the women and all the men wore THE SAME outfits did not help the matter. They all look like they are either part of "The Sound of Music" von Trapp family...or flight attendants for EasyJet. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: B-

Spain: Oh EspaƱa!! Their bright red and yellow uniforms caused a bit of a controversy when they were revealed and especially when several of the country's Olympic athletes began tweeting photos of their outfits with commentary such as "Can You Believe the CRAZY outfit we have to wear??? #UniformFail" (in Spanish of course). At first glance they looked like McDonalds employees. But when they walked the Opening Ceremony on Friday, the outfits didn't look so bad. The fan-shaped purses and scarves are OK and the women had these cute red rose headbands--very "Bizet's Carmen". Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: B-

Great Britain: Congrats London and Congrats Great Britain for getting the 2012 Summer Games. However, I can't even say anything nice about these getup's. Fashion designer Stella McCartney worked with Adidas to design the sporting gear and "village wear" (lounge wear) for Britain's home team. I'm not sure who designed these but they should be fired. These were BAAD. They were white tracksuits featuring cropped pants, tops and jackets with tacky gold mylar-looking accents and collars. I can see these looks at the Lunch Buffet on a cruise but NOT at the Olympics Opening Ceremony. What a fail for the host nation and the British athletes. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: D


India: I'm a sucker for a FAB Sari. So, they had me at Namaste. The bright canary yellow color of the women's saris and the turbans of the men, contrasted with the dark jackets made for a great visual display at Friday night's London 2012 Opening Ceremony. One of my Top Parade of Nations looks. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: A

Malaysia: Three words: I Love It. Just look at those colors, those hats (songkok), the sarong-style overskirts (sampin) on the men...oh, and did I mention the women also looked great! THIS, is why I LOVE watching the Olympics Parade of Nations. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: A

North and Central America, Caribbean:

Mexico: I mean SERIOUSLY. Mexico. You are SLAYING me with this! Absolutely Fab. It is so over-the-top, so-kitschy, so "Am I at El Coyote's Restaurant in LA?" that I feel as if someone will pull some  nachos with guacamole any minute now from their sombreros or colorful sarapes. I know many of you won't like these looks, but I love the fact that they really "went for it". Viva Mejico! Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: A-

Belize: Well done Belize. Sleek, crisp and chic, sportif. They look like well-heeled members of an exclusive country club. For a small Central American nation, you done did well, kids! For that, I give them my Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: A

Trinidad and Tobago: This Caribbean nation is here because of those FAB red with diagonal stripes wrap dresses on the ladies. I just wish the sleeves were not so long and the length didn't look so dowdy, but other that that, they get a Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: B-

Jamaica: Cedella Marley for Puma designed Jamaica's uniforms and they are some of the most stylish of the Parade of Nations bunch. Neon yellow, apple greens, and black (the flag's colors) combined with a unique print plus the on-trend color blocking and sleek athletic silhouettes make for great ensembles. Puma knows EXACTLY what it is doing. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: A

Canada: Khaki pants, sneakers and a zip-up jacket isn't really that creative when it comes to uniforms, especially when compared to say what INDIA came up with...however, I do give Canada points for how matchy-matchy they are (in a good way) and the fact that you could never be in doubt of WHERE these kids are from (Hello, can you READ??). Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: B-

USA: A lot has already been said over the PR kerfuffle committed by the Ralph Lauren company for having the US Olympic Uniforms manufactured in China. It was a big PR #Fail for Mr. Lauren. But, as we all know, if they were made in the US, these uniforms would have probably cost Ralph Lauren and the US Olympic Committee FIVE to TEN times as much so that is why the turned to China. Next time, they just need to eat the cost. I am sure billion-dollar rich Ralph Lauren can take it. Nevertheless, yes, it was still an "Oops" moment. With that being said, I kinda liked these uniforms. They were clean, sharp and gave a slight nod to English prep schools and English Savile Row tailoring and of course, had the red, white, and blue of the US flag. To me, the only negative--style-wise, would be the berets and cut of the women's skirts which was not flattering on all body types. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: B

Nigeria: I loved these uniforms from the Nigerian Olympic representatives. The ensembles highlighted traditional Nigerian dress for both the men and women. They were festive and elegant and featured the colors of the nation's flag--green and ivory. Naturally, for me, my standouts were the women and those fitted gowns and draped and wrapped headdresses. And when they entered the auditorium dancing...well, I gave them a Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: A

Senegal: You cannot go wrong with bright canary yellow. Look at those great suit dresses on the women and the kaftans on the men...I need one, like NOW! (the kaftan) I wished the women's headdresses were more "Miss Universe Parade of Nations" over-the-top though. Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: A-

Cameroon: These colorful robes and tunics from the Cameroon group stood out for me for its traditional and folkloric extravagance. I only fault them when it came to the consistency of their footwear (the one in the white socks and Pumas got my "Fashion Fail" vote). Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: B+

Middle East:
Oman: The men wore traditional Omani robes (dishdasha) and headdresses (muzzar and kummar) which is fine but who really stands out is that woman in the royal blue with gold trimmed traditional ensemble. She ROCKS! Parade of Nations Fashion Grade: B

The Fashion Miss and Mr. Hottie of the London 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony Are: 

Paraguay: Take a look at her! Paraguayan athlete Leryn Franco (she specializes in the javelin throw) is WORKING her cap-sleeved wrap dress, above-the-knee and more importantly, THAT plunging neckline. And need I add that she's GORGEOUS! She became a HUGE internet sensation during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and well, her stock is still WAY up after Friday night's appearance. She stole the "World's Sexiest Athlete" show. Even in those sensible ballet flats she could still STEAL YOUR HUSBAND. She wins my unofficial "Miss London Summer Olympics Parade of Nations Hottie".

Fiji: Finally, I have to give a title to a man. And boy is this A MAN. When the Parade of Nations happened on Friday and they got to the F's and Fiji came up, I could not focus for TEN minutes after that. This is who was holding the flag: 5' 9" tall Hottie McHottie Josateki Naulu, a Judo Olympic Athlete. Look at that body, the arms, the chest, the abs. Only Josateki could make wearing a grass skirt look SO manly. I wonder if he realizes that after Friday night's appearance, he will soon be the Poster Boy for Every Gay Hot-and-Sexy Body Blog. Mr. Naulu, you sir, are my "Mr. London Summer Olympics Parade of Nations Hottie"

Happy Summer Olympics!!!


Richard Bowman said...

nice rundown of the styles thanks NIck!

David Perez said...

Great blog! Right on with your comments on London, US, Mexico and of course the studly Mr. Fiji ;-)

Adeola Naomi said...

Amazing post and award really fairly given.
The Great Britain look was designed by the British high street store NEXT. I agree its their worst idea ever.
Next is know in the U.K and Europe as a wonderful high street store.
Am so proud to be a Nigerian :D

Anonymous said...

Great blog!
Does anybody know where to get the black ballet flats that the girls who were carrying the nameplates had on? I like the clean style!

Kate Sam said...

Agree with Anonymous - I need those black pantent mary janes with white strap and mini wedge heel in my life! Please help, Nick!

Myetvmedia said...

Nick Verreos is such a great fashion guru. Listen up he knows what fashion is all about. Great sense of Humour too. Never take yourself to seriously. Thanks nick

Trish C. said...

I love the dresses designed for Paraguay, does anyone know where to get it??

edjerobe said...

What about with South America?

Becki McGuinness said...

How can I follow your blog please? Becki :-)

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