August 10, 2008

Olympic Fever

Yup. I’ve got me a case of it. Or maybe I’m just overheated from watching the Americans wearing stiflingly warm looking clothing during the opening ceremonies.

Newsflash: It’s 100 degrees in China, with humidity to match.

Ralph Lauren, arbiter of classic American couture for everyman, did not exactly knock it out of the park with this assignment. I feel like the U.S. Olympic Committee would have been better served kicking this design challenge to Project Runway! Even with a $50 budget and a bag of buttons I think one of them could have done better. PR judges Nina Garcia would have sternly scolded Ralph for using so much “fahhbric” (with her delightful little lilt) and Michael Kors would have just spontaneously combusted.

Note: Photo is from
Ralph Lauren’s web site, so one would think that would mean the Lauren folks deemed this a good one. Is it just me or do the folks in the photo look rather ticked?

“They displayed noticeably less of the American exuberance at past Olympic opening ceremonies but there were plenty of happy waves from the team as they marched round the arena.”(Sports Illustrated)

Noticeably less exuberant? Probably because they were sweating their ever-lovin’ behinds off! Why the ties? The stifling women’s neckerchiefs? The dark jackets made from a very “sturdy” wool-blend looking (re: sweaty) fabric? The ill-fitting trousers?

Then I saw this picture of
Kobe Bryant and realized there were *long sleeves* lurking under those warm blazers! No wonder he looks so annoyed!


In today’s
New York Times Eric Wilson says the clothes looked “rather poorly made” as they were coming down the runway, er, track, and I have to agree. The look could have been crisp, traditional and tailored, but -- not to sound like a broken record -- with the heat being such a major factor I can’t imagine why Lauren went for so much clothing (I also noticed that the ushers at the Methodist church near my house have the *exact* same outfits! Only the ushers’ were tailored and well-fitting. I wish I had my camera with me so you could see.).

Thoughts for improvement? I have to admit I had visions of very traditional seersucker dancing through my head, and I saw in today’s Times’ feature that the French team wore seersucker (or something similar to). Tres bien! I would have loved to seen Ralph Lauren use this classic – and BREATHABLE – fabric as his canvas.

For the men, I say keep the look relaxed and sans tie (who wants to wear a tie in that heat?) with a polo shirt (Ralph Lauren…Polo…Get it Ralph?). The uniform would be clean looking even when the sports coat was removed (which you know our men were probably dying to do), and I’d probably opt for a crisp white polo. Something similar to this one from Haspel, but probably with the more classic navy and white striped pattern:

For the women I think a dress would be more flattering to their toned and athletic builds, and I like the
J. Peterman halter pictured above. And in true Peterman fashion, the product description makes it sound perfectly suitable for a jaunt through the outerbanks or a saunter towards Olympic Gold:

“Sleeveless Seersucker Sundress (No. 2207) in wonderful diagonally puckered cotton, as seen from Campobello to Ocracoke in the 1940s. Halter-back top with shawl collar and princess seams. Wide self ties to tie back or front. Twelve real pearl-shell buttons from bodice down to full sweep. Sweet red locker loop.”

And maybe we could add pockets (for digital cameras and lip gloss) like his one from Thread:

Heidi Klum, if you’re reading this there’s still time to get the 2010 Winter Games Challenge in place. Just make sure this time the designers actually *know* what the Olympics' opening ceremony is. Last week's challenge to design for the summer ceremony yielded a couple of the one Kors proclaimed was perfect, "if her sport was cocktail waitressing." Yowza.


Pat said...

I missed the opening ceremony but from the photos here in your blog I agree those outfits look very hot and old fashioned in appearance.

I love the pink dress you posted --really cool yet stylish.

Sweet Bunny said...

I agree with you on all points 100%! Which events do you enjoy?

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Pat, "old fashioned" is a perfect way to describe. I love the classics, but this was "eh." Lauren said he was looking to "Chariots of Fire" for inspiration? Hmm. And thanks for telling me more about your maps & coin collection -- I'm loving the idea and can't wait until you share on you blog! :-)

Oh, sweet bunny -- what don't I enjoy?! :-) I actually really love watching gymnastics (I'd have to rate that towards the top) and I could watch every track & field event there is. I'm a huge basketball fan but I don't like watching in the Olympics...we have players who get paid millions and millions of dollars. I would hope they're good!

My comments on our team's attire aside, the opening ceremonies were the most amazing I remember seeing!

please sir said...

Thanks for sharing this - I missed it and was so curious! Yeah, 100 degree weather - I would have been pretty mad too!

j.cro said...

That dress is really cute until I saw the price tag. I have a wedding to go to in less than a month and am looking around for dresses even though I have one in my closet already picked out for the occasion. You just never know when another cutie might catch your eye.

I'm boycotting the Olympics on the TV. It's my own little protest against the Chinese and their treatment of non-Han people in their country and the others they've occupied. It bums me out too... I really love the swimming. I guess I'll have to check it all out on YouTube.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

please sir -- most of the ensembles were pretty heinous. :-)

j. cro -- I know, I know. I just can't help myself. I'm totally obsessed with Dara Torres. I mean...her first Olympcs was 24 years ago!! For dresses try that new place in Asbury next to Wish You Were owners and different stuff that's not all expensive.

Jersey Girl in DC said...

I agree about the USA's outfits for the opening ceremony! The funny thing is that they just ran an episode of Project Runway last week where the challenge was to design the outfits for the USA's Olympic team. The winning outfit was way lighter and would have been much cooler for the 90 degree weather there. Check it out here: said...

I love RL but this was a total phart on his part. Tsk Tsk Tsk

Liz said...

I know I'm being really silly when I say this... but cant they find better looking suits for the women swimmers? Yikes. I feel bad for those ladies wearing those things. :)

j.cro said...

YES!! Go Dara Torres!

Hooked on Houses said...

Oh, my gosh! I'm so glad you brought this up because it made me NUTS when they came out in those uniforms!! I told my husband they should've chosen one of the designs from Project Runway instead. Nice to know I'm not the only one who thought they were a design FAIL.

It was over 80 friggin' degrees in that stadium, and the athletes were there for hours. How miserable they must've been. I would've been ripping those hats and blazers off and rolling up my sleeves... -Julia :-)

Courtney said...

you are cracking me up, Laura...but you raise very very good points!!