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The Fashion Olympics - Going for Gold

Great Britain's Olympic Sports KitLondon 2012 has been billed as the most stylish Olympics yet, with the Brits setting the pace not just in winning medals, but in fashion design as well.

It was well documented ahead of the games that Stella McCartney was to design the sports kit and off-track attire for the British Olympic team, produced by Adidas (though she didn’t design the white and gold Olympic ceremony outfits). A host of other countries followed suit, and designer involvement extends to Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Hermès and Salvatore Ferragamo- all big names on the catwalk, but now on the racetrack too.

High street retailer Next are the outfitters of formalwear for the British team, including navy men’s suits with discreet gold detailing and dresses for the ladies. Adidas also clothed the Australian athletes.

Other international names in Olympic design include Ralph Lauren, who designed the American team’s Olympic village and Opening Ceremony wear, and (perhaps rather amusingly) outfitted them with berets for the opening event. The outfits do have rather a preppy, if not nautical feel to them… complete with white ‘A’line skirts and ankle socks for the ladies.

The Italians were sleek and chic as expected, clothed in Armani for their Olympic athletic uniforms, while the sailing team were clothed by another Italian fashion giant, Prada. The designers actually ignored the colours of the Italian flag, and went for dark blue and white.

Luxury brand Hermès went back to their horsey roots and kitted out the French equestrian team with riding jackets.  Nike was responsible for clothing the USA track and field team and also designed athletic outfits for the Chinese and Russian teams.

The Jamaican team were clothed by Puma for their track gear, with fabulous Opening Ceremony uniforms in their national colours of black red and yellow designed by Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob Marley.

One interesting fashion is for putting words inside the athlete’s clothes. The Giorgio Armani-designed Italian Olympic jackets for the opening ceremony featured the words to the Italian national anthem stitched inside – handy, I suppose, for a sneaky peek if they forgot them! The polo shirts have the opening lines on the inside collar. Meanwhile, the Australian jacket design features the names of previous Olympic athletes in the lining.  

Team GB have already put in an amazing performance, beating their Beijing medal haul by some way – let’s hope they can net even more medals before the closing ceremony on Sunday. In the meantime, why not visit the official Olympic Fashion Tumblr?

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