Fashion, Features, People & Parties

London 2012 Opening Ceremonies: Who Wore it Best?

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By Priya Kumar Last night marked the opening of the Olympics in London for the third time in the history of the modern games. While the Ceremony itself received mixed reviews-- with the BBC accurately noting that spectators would recognize more of the athletes and performers missing than those actually participating-- one thing was undeniable. The fashion proved to be the fiercest competitor of them all at the Opening Ceremony. Billed the most stylish Olympics yet by fashion critics, top international designers from around the world will be going head-to-head for the next three weeks on a whole new platform.  Here's a breakdown of which team wore what...and of course we have to ask; who wore it best?

Team USA-- Ralph Lauren

USA-- Polo Ralph Lauren It's irrefutable. Ralph Lauren has preppy-chic down. So what better avenue to display his clothes than on America's top athletes? Team USA made their opening ceremony debut wearing RL's dapper Blue Label, with each athlete sporting a double-breasted navy blazer with peak lapels and a U.S. Olympic games patch. The women were accessorized with a stripped scarf and the men with complementing ties."The uniforms were inspired by the spirit of American athleticism and sportsmanship, including the 1948 Olympic Games in London," Ralph Lauren said in a press release. "Vintage inspired, but modern in design and sophistication." The unveiling of Team USA's uniform has not gone without controversy-- made in PRL's factories in China, critics have called the uniforms "un-American," having not been tailored locally.

Team Canada-- The Bay

Canada-- Hudson Bay Company Inspired by the color blocking motif from the Montreal 1976 games uniforms, Canada's team name could be seen from a distance in red and white bold lettering. These zip-ups were layered over a white tailored shirt with the women's version having a plaid pocket and the men's, a plaid tie.  The looks were rounded out with khaki slacks and white sneakers. “We want our athletes to walk in the parade wearing a stand-out piece that reflects the Canadian spirit and who we are as a nation,” said Hudson’s Bay Co. senior vice president and fashion director Suzanne Timmins in the press announcement. “The Canada Parade Jacket was a natural choice, and it captures Canada’s love for the outdoors. It is also practical and versatile -– two characteristics we wanted to highlight when designing the look.”

Team Italia-- Armani

Italy-- Armani Said to be the best dressed team, Team Italia was seen wearing EA7 Emporio Armani designs. Armani's internationally pervasive sports line, the specially designed Olympic kit is made of up 50 items includes a trolly and portable wardrobe to make for easy transport. "The fact that I have been chosen is recognition of the value of what I do. Fashion represents a great Italian flag for the whole world and it is a beautiful idea to combine it with sports. Let's hope the sports will be as glorious," Mr. Armani stated at the line's unveiling in Milan.

Team GB-- Adidas by Stella McCartney

UK-- Stella McCartney for Adidas As opposed to going into the archives of previous Olympic uniforms for inspiration, McCartney went to the athletes for their opinions on design. They old her what they were looking for in uniforms and she made it her mission to make them functional, practical and fashionable all at the same time. “Designing for athletes – enabling them to perform at their highest level – was a level of pressure I’ve never felt. You don’t ever want someone to say, ‘My clothes didn’t function perfectly.’ But at the same time, function has two meanings: they have to work at the performance level but they also have to work to make someone feel good psychologically. And then you have a whole country that has their own thoughts about what looks good.” The design process took 2 and a half years to put the kit together-- 28 months longer than a regular collection. To the mixed reviews McCartney received she calmly responded, "It's not my usual audience."

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