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Ralph Lauren's Olympic Ceremony Uniforms



Darlings, since it's appropriate to the last challenge, and since you bitches just won't shut up about them, here are Ralph Lauren's designs for the Olympic ceremonies:


We're not sure why so many people have been slamming these. They look fine to us, for what they are. A little cheap-looking, sure, but appropriate enough. We're not all that crazy about the caps (we honestly think baseball caps would have worked better) and it would have been nice to differentiate a little bit between the men and the women, but for the most part, it's classic American sportswear, which makes it perfect for the venue - and, unlike a LOT of the looks we saw parading around the other night, it's tasteful.

"Inspired by the rich past of the Olympic Games, and in keeping with the time-honored tradition of this historic event, Polo Ralph Lauren brings an elegant and contemporary style to the U.S. Olympic Team. Reflecting the brand's trademark sporty sophistication and refined sensibility, the Opening Ceremony uniforms evoke the heritage and legacy of the 1920's and 1930's. Featuring a polished and tailored silhouette, the ensemble is comprised of a crisp white cotton shirt and ivory cuffed pants, complemented by a timeless navy blue blazer in tropical wool, adorned with the iconic Polo Pony and the 2008 U.S. 'Look of the Team' logo. The chic outfits are accented by Americana-infused accessories with red, white and blue silk ties and scarves and classic canvas sneakers with red and blue lateral stripes, topped off with a white twill hat.In addition to designing the Official Opening Ceremony Parade Outfits for the U.S. Olympic Team, Polo Ralph Lauren has also created their Closing Ceremony Parade Outfits, as well as an assortment of village wear pieces."

More info:

"The Opening Ceremony Parade Outfits reflect the heritage and sensibility of the 1920s and 1930s with a tailored and modern silhouette. Men and women althletes wore double vent navy blazers with safari pleats on the back, white slacks, white driving hats and canvas walking shoes."














"The Closing Ceremony Parade Outfits reflect a sportier aesthetic that includes a classic white polo shirt, white shorts, a red/white/blue belt and a sleeveless sweater.

Apparel from the entire Polo Ralph Lauren U.S. Olympic Team Parade Outfit collection are available for purchase in the U.S. - with the official men’s Parade Outfit tie in numbered, limited editions - as well as a collection of designs represented in the athlete village wear pieces. They are available online at RalphLauren.com and the U.S. Olympic Committee website."



More pictures:




[Photos: Courtesy of press.ralphlauren.com/olympics]
167 comments:

I don't think they are heinous at all. In fact I LOVE LOVE the closing ceremony outfit.

However, I stand by my point that she totally ripped off RL's design and thus didn't deserve the win. The judges got it right.


The positioning of the horizontal stripe on the closing ceremony sweater vest makes it look like he's wearing a cropped sweater and/or that he has his pants pulled up way too high. Maybe it would look slightly better with non-white pants/shorts, but still not great.


Eh.

They look like an army of Hubbell Gardeners.

--KatieTomato


I thought the opening ceremony outfits were nice, and very American, but those close-up shots DO show that they're a little icky and cheap.

That sweater vest is ugly, but the shorts/polo look is ok. It's all the same shit Ralph Lauren's been doing his whole career. A bit of a snooze.


Good bookend to last week's challenge, gentlemen. The looks are all Ralph Lifshitz, to be sure, but event appropriate.

Would that nervous Daniel could have taken this in....

I can't agree that Korto 'ripped' off Ralph. Indeed, I think Korto's is cleaner and more forward-looking.

All the best,

NDC


Well, it's not bad but it is predictable and safe. Do you really think the judges (let alone the viewers) would not have had a different kind of fit if the designers all sent these type of outfits down the runway? The runway show would have been a total bore, instead of the LOL riot it was. I also want to point out that the wide range of designs we saw on the runway was oddly similar to what one witnessed in the Parade of Nations during the opening ceremonies, including cocktail dresses (hello, Poland) and some heinous old lady clothes (hello Hungary).


I think Daniel designed the Polish women's team outfits..... looked like an army of bridesmaids!!


Perfectly acceptable, but prefer the RL Polo logo not be bigger than the chinese-child-labor-sewn-on-olympic-logo.

I don't mind the hats that much either. Sue me, I'm a golf fanatic.


It's just my very humble opinion, but the RL opening ceremony uniforms just did not seem to hold up well in the heat at all. They looked cheaply made and not fitted correctly. Maybe they just got sweat saturated and shrunk. And I still detest the driving caps. ICK.
I do agree that they are a classic design, very American, but also very dated.
The closing ceremony uniforms look like something I would find in any store from Target' to Jacques Penne.
All that aside, thanks so much for posting today, TLo...You all are the bestest, ever!
----StkrShock


"I can't agree that Korto 'ripped' off Ralph. Indeed, I think Korto's is cleaner and more forward-looking."




Who would have said that Korto ripped off Ralph Lauren, when that PR episode was taped a month before the opening ceremonies? She'd have to be psychic.

--GothamTomato


i liked sweden's mandarin-collar outfits. and some country - who was it?? - had dark blazers with a cuff and collar that was red with white polka-dots, and it looked really nice (sounds lame, looked good, in my opinion). another country had very cute white short-sleeved jackets for their women, which I thought was a smart, cute, clean look - still the tailored-blazer look, but in white and with short sleeves, so adapted to the heat.

There is nothing at all wrong with the Ralph Lauren ensemble; it just seems a little bland to me. And the jackets showed up as almost black on my television, which was a little weird.


They're not heinous, they're just boring. and they have huge RL polo ponies on them. A friend of mine put it this way, that they looked like uniforms from a production of Madame Butterly, all of them Captain Pinkertons come to have their way with the Orientals. I still say tour guides. And the hats are a pathetic attempt to get people to buy buy buy those RL caps. eh. capitalism.


Patty O. Furniture

I like the outfits. I think they are classic, and appropriate as well as working on they myriad of athletic bodies. I was having a major laugh during last weeks episode trying to picture those god-awful outfits on both the slender volleyball players and the female weightlifters. RL obviously paid attention to the fact that not all athletes are created the same!


They are certainly predictable and safe, but I think they are quite nice. I adore Ralph Lauren though, so perhaps I am a tad biased.


Listen, these outfits weren't nearly as ugly as some of the other countries' were. I just wasn't crazy about the hats, and I thought the women should have had something to make them look a little more feminine. They all looked very butch in this suit.


Hate the hat.

Like the outfit, generally. Little WASPy...
But they do look warm for schlepping around a parade ground in August Chinese heat.


I think they are okay. They don't stand out as bad, but they do look cheap (especially the jacket). The women look like they are wearing their brothers clothes, you have to wonder if they are wearing men's underwear as well.
The opening ceremony clothes look a little too "Mr Howell" and the closing ceremony clothes look a little too "Tennis anyone".
I would liked to have seen more red in the uniforms, but at least they don't look like fools.


i'm not dorothy gale

Ralph apparently thought he was designing for the U.S. Equestrian Team given the size of those ponies.


Given the fug that was walking that track, we looked pretty good in the group shots. My biggest complaint was that so many designers made their athletes wear many layers of heavy material...in August in Beijing! High heat and high humidity. I winced every time I saw another blazer walk out.


GeeGee24 said...
I don't think they are heinous at all. In fact I LOVE LOVE the closing ceremony outfit.

However, I stand by my point that she totally ripped off RL's design and thus didn't deserve the win. The judges got it right.


Who ripped of RL? None of the designers did anything remotely similar to this. Even if they did ,it is not as if a navy blazer and white trousers has ever been seen before.


I think these are perfect.


I like them. I think they're simple and elegant but I HATE the buttons. They look very cheap.


I'm guessing that Terri is the object of the "rip off" claim. I don't agree - and I would have loved to have seen Terri's design at the Olympics. Hers was much more chic - and much less white-bread yachters...

Auntie L


I thought they looked great but I I felt they all looked like men. Not much difference between the men's and women's outfits.


Classic and chic. Loved it!


The look was very boring. Skirts would have helped differentiate the women from the men.


The huge Polo logo was very tacky. I actually liked the women wearing pants. It bared a sense of equality.


By the way, thank you for this fabulous post on a very gloomy Sunday, Tlo!


I don't like it at all, and not specifically for reasons of fashion. Sure, they're aesthetically sharp-looking, at least from the substantial distance at which 99% of the world will ever see them.

Nevertheless, the Olympics,opening ceremony included, does not center on fashion. It centers on representing your country.

These outfits presented the United States athletes as rich snobs, frankly. They made the team look like a 1948 yacht club.

Also, the design essentially copies from British, French, and Italian uppercrust aesthetics, thereby undermining the independent streak the U.S. tries so hard to boast in the international community.

Also, that polo pony logo is like four times the normal size on those jackets. I find it offensive that Ralph Lauren saw fit to make the Olympic games his personal advertising ploy.


Very classic and appropriate for the event. I love the scarf, I also agree on the hat.


I have NO IDEA what a Hubbell Gardener is, but it still strikes me as hilarious.


" Anonymous said...
Nevertheless, the Olympics,opening ceremony included, does not center on fashion. It centers on representing your country."


What did you want? Feathers and cowboy hats?


"sewing siren said: Who ripped of RL? None of the designers did anything remotely similar to this."




Not to mention that they (the designers) aren't capable of time travel, thus making it extremely difficult to rip off something that came out AFTER the competition (and taping) was over.

--GothamTomato


More opinions:

Alex Badia, DNR Magazine Fashion Director, is happy to see the return to a more polished look, as he told USA Today:

“I know that it’s a sporting event,” but for the opening ceremony — “probably one of the best fashion runways ever” — the teammates should be more dressed up, he says. “Nylon has never been a friend for parades.”


Thoughts on the uniforms thanks to USAToday, in this story from journalist Olivia Barker.

First-time Olympian Andrew Campbell, 24, a sailor from San Diego, is “thankful” Lauren and the USOC decided to hark back to “a really clean-cut, classic American look” devoid of any “silly cowboy hats or berets.” Having spent his private high school days in ties and slacks, Campbell is accustomed to such polish. “With that USA team patch on your chest with those white rings underneath, it’s a pretty powerful symbol,” he says, referring to the blazer.

Booth Moore, Fashion Critic for the Los Angeles Times has this to say:

“Ralph Lauren was a good choice for the American team, though the Polo ponies embroidered on the lapels of the athletes’ blue blazers were almost as large as the Olympic rings (Lauren has never been known for his subtlety).”

“White pants are among the most difficult things in all of fashiondom to pull off, and true to form, these didn’t flatter. A few pleats would have helped. The white newsboy caps were a nice touch, broadcasting a can-do spirit, especially on basketball player Kobe Bryant, who cocked his to the side.”


There are photos at the bottom of this page showing US athletes getting their Olympic gear.


Too preppy.


It's hard for me to be unbiased, since I love the British public school look, but I don't think the outfits were bland. I do agree that they seem a bit Richie Rich more than Americana, but really, I think it's difficult to pin down what is "American" and what is not. The cricket outfits did make me giggle, though.


This comment has been removed by the author.

"First-time Olympian Andrew Campbell, 24, a sailor from San Diego, is “thankful” Lauren and the USOC decided to hark back to “a really clean-cut, classic American look” devoid of any “silly cowboy hats or berets.” Having spent his private high school days in ties and slacks, Campbell is accustomed to such polish."

Maybe it's a "classic American look" to a member of the sailing team who grew up in the upper crust and attended private schools. But it just seems cheesy and dull to me.

If "classic" is what we're going for, might as well hearken back to Greece and have the athletes march in the nude.


I think the outfits are fine. I would have preferred a more modern look, as the outfits do seem to evoke old money and prestige. The hats offset the look with a bit of whimsy.

But the competitors looked sharp. I do agree that he didn't think about the Chinese heat. Hopefully it was cool that night.


blushlife said...

"I have NO IDEA what a Hubbell Gardener is, but it still strikes me as hilarious."

He's from "The Way We Were" - 80's flick with Redford & Streisand (guess which one played the blue blood?? :) ) Very melodramatic, but fun. Directed by the late, great Sydney Pollock, I think...

Auntie L


If "classic" is what we're going for, might as well hearken back to Greece and have the athletes march in the nude.

Works for me.


"blushlife said...
I have NO IDEA what a Hubbell Gardener is, but it still strikes me as hilarious."



Congratulations! You have won today's "Blayne (Sargeant Who?) Award'.

See ya Hubbell.

--GothamTomato


Thank you, Auntie L - that was kind.

Gotham, I was paying tribute to your wit- Be more gracious! Perhaps you meant Hubbell Gardner?

xo
-blushlife


I agree that it was tacky to put such a large (or indeed any) Polo logo on the jackets. I mean, it's one thing to provide the uniforms because you're proud of the US. It's another thing to use Olympic athletes as advertising/marketing tools. (No pun intended.) I didn't see other giant logos on the uniforms, and there were some great designers on the Olympic runway.


GothamTomato said...

Not to mention that they (the designers) aren't capable of time travel, thus making it extremely difficult to rip off something that came out AFTER the competition (and taping) was over.


Now, I certainly don't think any of the designers copied Ralph Lauren (Terri's blazer wasn't similar at all), but they announced what we'd be wearing awhile ago. I remember seeing these outfits a few months ago, so it's not inconceivable a designer might have seen them as well. Didn't this season wrap filming just before they started airing it?


The Polo logo isn't large enough.

-- desertwind

PS - I wonder what Jillian would've come up.


I was thinking that Ralph's outfits looked pretty good, UNTIL I caught sight of the ubiquitous Polo logo.

I'm STUNNED that the US Olympic committee allowed it... equally stunned by RL's BAD taste.

You can take a boy outta the Bronx, but...


To bad Daniel wasn't on Project Runway Poland or Project Runway Hungary, because his outfit wouldn't have kicked ass. He should have known that Team USA wanted to look like a bunch of yuppies spending the day on a friend's yacht.


To bad Daniel wasn't on Project Runway Poland or Project Runway Hungary, because his outfit WOULD have kicked ass. He should have known that Team USA wanted to look like a bunch of yuppies spending the day on a friend's yacht.


I couldn't help but think that last week's bottom three watched the opening ceremony fashions and thought, "See?! I wasn't that far off base!", when seeing what some of the other countries put out.

I thought USA looked respectable. No wow factor though.

How about those 2,008 drummers, eh! And all the fabulous costumes in the ceremony. I love Chinese historical movies and was in heaven watching the costume pagentry!


PPS - Actually, one can't get much more commercial than the Olympics. (check out all the Nike swooshes! -- they're not there by chance) Not to mention all the professional athletes that compete in the "games".

-- desertwind


1. Hate the hats.
2. I am offended that Lauren was allowed to put his logo on the uniforms. Yes, I know the Olympics are nothing but crass commercialism, but it's still annoying.

The look itself, however, is fine.


Sorry for the confusion -- I didn't mean Korto ripped off Lauren. I meant that Terri ripped off Lauren and that he judges got it right by not giving her the win.

Not sure when this challenge was filmed but the RL design was all over the net months ago.

I completely agree with the win for Korto out of all of the options.


edina monsoon

Count me in as another fan of the RL look. Very American, very classic, tailored, crisp and a bit sexy, if you asked me. I don't mind the "See ya, Hubbell" vibe at all. Robert Redford rocked the look in the 70's and here we are today discussing it and looking at it in the 2008 Olympics. That's pretty impressive if you asked me. Again, love the RL Olympic looks.

- edina -


He's from "The Way We Were" - 80's flick with Redford & Streisand (guess which one played the blue blood?? :) ) Very melodramatic, but fun. Directed by the late, great Sydney Pollock, I think...

Auntie L

I think The Way We Were was early 70's? I remember being about 12 and wanting Babs' curls soooooo bad.


Tokyo rosa said:

I agree that it was tacky to put such a large (or indeed any) Polo logo on the jackets. I mean, it's one thing to provide the uniforms because you're proud of the US. It's another thing to use Olympic athletes as advertising/marketing tools. (No pun intended.) I didn't see other giant logos on the uniforms, and there were some great designers on the Olympic runway.

At first I too thought his logo was too pronounced, to the point of tackiness,but then I remembered that Nike's and Speedo's logos are just as prominent on a lot of the competition uniforms. I guess he was just following the American trend of showing who your corporate overlords are. :)


these designs need to go back to the scotch ad that they came from.


Terri's outfit was young, hip, fresh, versatile and appropriate for the event and she deserved to win. Her design outdid Lauren in every aspect, down to the stripe on the pants. RL's look is old and done and truly is elitist in style~very Old Money, Trust Fund Baby. I found it 'both safe AND boring' to quote La Nina.


"Anonymous said...
If "classic" is what we're going for, might as well hearken back to Greece and have the athletes march in the nude."

Hopefully next time.

The outfits were fine and appropriate for the occasion.


The outfits are alright--
classic american sportswear--
the PR panel shouldn't like it because it wasn't really modernized-- just 20's, 30's looking.

patsy stone is right-- the RL logo is WAY TOO HUGE!
And I hope that these weren't made by child labor in china. Is there any way to find out where they were made?

I like the closing ceremony look.


The opening outfits are always very old fashioned and not very flattering. I thought this time they looked classy and elegant.


I hate RL but these were nice. No complaints here. Now I think Terri was definitely robbed.


I think it's flattering to athletes who are more muscular.


"At first I too thought his logo was too pronounced, to the point of tackiness,but then I remembered that Nike's and Speedo's logos are just as prominent on a lot of the competition uniforms."

I disagree. The logos on the competition gear are much more subtle; their size doesn't fight the "USA" logo for prominence, as it does on the ceremony blazers.

What's more, sports gear is commonly festooned with brand logos, so it's not startling to see
it on the competition uniforms.

Including an enormous white RL logo on a navy blazer-- in the same size scale as "USA"-- is offensive in the extreme.


Big snooze. But I like the closing ceremony outfit better. Can RL make those damned polo ponies any larger?


The 10 sharpest-dressed teams:

1. Netherlands. Gray suits with orange ties and cool, two-tone shoes.

2. Antigua and Barbuda. Sharp plaid vests and ties with white shirts.

3. Saint Kitts and Nevis women. Sundresses in the flag's colors.

4. Gabon men. Argylish green-and-blue shirts.

5. Italy. Gray suit coats, black ties and snazzy silver shoes. That didn't keep them from marching in total chaos, all over the place, to the consternation of the orderly Chinese folks overseeing the procession.

6. Botswana. Nice powder-blue-and-black suit ensemble.

7. Tunisia. Blue blazers, lavender shirts and ties. Strong.

8. Latvia. White pants, lavender coats. Well done.

9. Ukraine men. Blue-and-yellow ensemble. Women get a demerit for bad yellow ankle socks and iffy shoes.

10. Egypt. Nice suit coats. Gotta be the cotton.


The 10 worst-dressed teams:

1. Denmark. Jean shorts. JEAN SHORTS?! This isn't Gainesville, Fla.; this is the Olympics.

2. South Africa. Committed the unpardonable offense of outfitting everyone in green crocs.

3. Spain. Bright red suits with bright red shoes. The shoes were criminal.

4. Canada. The Canadians usually are among the best dressed, so the penalty for showing up in bad pseudo-sweat suits is extra.

5. Kazakhstan. The women wore sashes that said "Kazakhstan," like it was a beauty pageant. The guys looked pretty cool. Nice white cowboy hats.

5. Switzerland. I cannot stay neutral on these outfits. BAD shorts with suit coats.

6. Australia. Say it again: sweat jacket-ish things that looked like they were purchased at a yard sale.

7. Belgium. Love your beer, hate your men's outfits. Horrific tan suits with red T-shirts.

8. Ecuador. Looked vaguely like a NASCAR driver's jump suit.

9. British Virgin Islands. One guy in jeans, another in black pants, three others in khakis.

10. Somalia. The men rocked some sweet sky-blue suits -- and then along came one dude in a white T-shirt and shorts, as if he slipped in off the street right before the group walked through the tunnel and onto the stadium floor.


Call me crazy, but I liked the hats. I want one. It's not the hat's fault that athletes are dumb and don't know how to wear them; Tyson Gay had the right idea.

What I didn't like is the way the jackets came down only to mid-forearm on the taller players. And the logo, yuck.


i love the opening ceremony fits.
together, they look so pimp!!!


Hard to get excited about such staid apparel.

And about those caps... I only see driving caps on older gentlemen above a certain age. I though wearing them was caused by was a sex-linked gene that switched on at 60 or so.


GeeGee24 said...

"I think The Way We Were was early 70's? I remember being about 12 and wanting Babs' curls soooooo bad."

You're right - just did a IMDb check - 1973. And, I WISH I could say I was 12 then, but alas, that was the year a I graduated from high school - and I wasn't a prodigy....

Anonymous 2:59 - love the list. I'll have to go back to check out the pix of these teams (unless TLo can give us screencaps - JUST KIDDING!)

Aunite L


" kjt said...

The outfits are alright--
classic american sportswear--
the PR panel shouldn't like it because it wasn't really modernized-- just 20's, 30's looking.

patsy stone is right-- the RL logo is WAY TOO HUGE!
And I hope that these weren't made by child labor in china. Is there any way to find out where they were made?

I like the closing ceremony look."

Kjt,

Here's a video of the Chinese workers making the outfits and the manager discussing the “challenges” of creating roughly 1800 unique and different uniforms with all their nuances and variation


Maybe it's my love of costumes speaking here, but I LOVED the dresses the sign carriers were wearing.


Oh, and the white shirts needed starch, or better construction; they were buckling. Granted, I don't have to worry about fitting an 19" neck, but still.


I think they look great, really almost a celebration of simple, elegant lines in classic ‘American’ colors and styles.


You must not have been looking very hard, anonymous. Flat caps have been one of the hottest trends for men for two years now. Go to a high-end men's hat shop and check out the selection in summer and winter materials from Borsalino and Kangol. It doesn't surprise me at all that the black men were the only ones who knew what to do with them.


I'm glad to see the US team wearing an American designer. I love the closing ceremony outfit.


I'll have to go back to check out the pix of these teams (unless TLo can give us screencaps - JUST KIDDING!)

Auntie L




Hi Auntie L,

You can see them here . Enjoy!

XO
TLo


I'm not usually a RL customer, but I kind of like that if you go to RalphLauren.com, you can get a "create your own" Olympics polo where you choose a country flag and color combination. At $125 it's awfully pricey for just a polo shirt, but I think it's a cool idea to offer them with lots of different countries instead of just USA.


I think that at an opening ceremony the uniform should not be too casual. These were perfect.


Some of them were HORRIBLE! I think we did great :)


Tasteless, sexless!! Waste of money!!! Girls looked like guys, no feminine look at all!!! I am so disappointed!!! ]
Shame for Ralph Lauren to design awful US costumes!!!


I love the outfits. Team USA looked very professional and well dressed. All of our athletes, regardless of gender or race, were wearing the same uniform and were all equal. It represented America’s diversity through unity and equality.


Anonymous said...
It could have been worse!

3:03 PM


Oh now "THAT'S" Surreal :-)


Eh. The thing is, if he's going to go with such a plain and ordinary look, there's really no reason for it too look cheaply made.


The huge Polo logos were tacky, no different that if someone had sewn McDonald's "Golden Arches" on the back of the jacket.

And the women all look like flight attendants.

Zzzzzzzz.


"Anonymous said...
It could have been worse!"




Things must be tough in Dogpatch if Lil Abner is competing for Denmark.

--GothamTomato


A Sunday post! Fabulous treat, boys!

A little boring but appropriate for the occasion. I agree with Sewing Siren, I wish I had seen more red in the uniforms.


They look like they work on a cruise ship. And without the jackets, like a space ship tour guide.

"An army of Hubbel Gardeners" -- good one, Tomato!


Ugh. Can't stand 'em. Not an ounce of creativity or forward thinking in the design. Typical of RL, master of the re-hash.
And I read the post-opening-ceremonies blog of a track and field athlete who said the uniforms were miserable to wear in the beastly heat.
Unfortunate all around.


"blushlife said...
Gotham, I was paying tribute to your wit- Be more gracious! Perhaps you meant Hubbell Gardner?"




I was KIDDING!

And yes, that Hubbell Gardner. (I never claimed I could spell).

--GothamTomato


Come fly the friendly skies of Olympus.

~ Alisons


They look like flight attendants.


Goofy, boring, there is nothing American about those.


I thought they looked classy, instead of obnoxious like the world currently perceives us.


I was more annoyed listening to Bob Costas (and his bad dye job! What'd he use, shoe polish?) and Matt Lauer talk about the ethnic inspired outfits worn by some countries. I couldn't believe that two "world travellers" could be such idiots about native culture.

The RL outfits were just that, RL outfits. Nothing I haven't seen before.

BrianB


Sewing siren said...

Who ripped of RL? None of the designers did anything remotely similar to this. Even if they did ,it is not as if a navy blazer and white trousers has ever been seen before.

I had seen the RL Olympic look and felt immediately that Terri's look was a complete derivation. the most significant change was in the top - and her tube top was perhaps the worst part of her look.


I don't think anyone ripped RL off. I think he did the same thing Terri did - looked at what was worn in the past, noted that blazers were a popular choice in many Olympic Opening Ceremonies and gave the outfit a nostalgic twist because that's what fashion is doing right now. Oh, and he added a hipster scarf.

His blazers look kind of ill-fitted and cheap close up but looked okay in a group parade. The oversized Polo logo is tacky at any distance.


Three words: TERRY WAS ROBBED!


I love Classic American Style, but this was just boring. I was hoping for an updated take on his Classic look.


They looked like they were about to melt any minute...long pants, blazers, long sleeved shirts and ties when in that kind of weather?


CanIgetYouAnything?

CanIgetYouAnything?

Oh, and I forgot Poland.


Mariana (The Unoriginal)

The hat is a no-no, the huge logo is also a no-no, but overall very chic, very sleek. I loved it. Thanks for the closeups, boys!


Can I get you anything?

They look like they should be serving Olympians on their flight to Beijing!


The hats look great-- the bright white caps tie it all together, especially since the ceremony is viewed mostly from an elevated vantage point.

The ideal image to project is competence, wholesomeness, respectfulness, and patriotism. (Blindingly obvious, I know, but tell taht to the majority of the PR designers!)

Ralph almost aced it, but I'll have to deduct points for the tastelessness of that logo.


Hubbell Gardner or the Great Gatsby.

If RL gets to massively pony the product, I think the project should be given to Nike next time, to see what they could come up with in a swoosh-way.


I hate the hats. They look British. Baseball caps would have been better because they are AMERICAN. These hats just don't say "USA" to me. And the whole look is too uptight.

Terri's blazer would have looked a million times better. And while I didn't like the red-and-white kravat-type-thing she made at the time, after watching the opening ceremonies I see how it would have popped and looked great out there. Terri's outfit would have really wowed and said "America" in a way the Ralph Lauren look, in my opinion, fails to do.


TLo - thanks so much for the Olympic uniform pictures - You're the best!!

Aunite L


C'mon, cut The Earl of Lifshitz a little slack-- the driving caps are a nod to his British heritage.


The U.S. Team wearing cheap-looking outfits made in China. That about sums up the state of our economy, doesn't it?


Terri used the cravat, imo, to cover up the poor job she did on the tube top. She may be able to sew fast but she made some mistakes. That overdone scarf may have lost her the top spot.

I don't think Terri ripped anyone off. Hers and Ralph's designs look similar because the blazer look is an obvious choice. I find Terri's designs all to be somewhat ordinary and obvious.


TLo, you guys are all types of awesome! I am hoping there will there be a ROW blog post(s) - yeah, yeah I know I'm greedy.
======================
Anonymous 12:35 PM said...
Well, it's not bad but it is predictable and safe. Do you really think the judges (let alone the viewers) would not have had a different kind of fit if the designers all sent these type of outfits down the runway?

Word! Word! Word!
I am surprised that this challenge / episode was not better received, it's my favorite one so far this season. I consider it a happy accident that the designers put their fashion forward / retro / I Did It My Way spin on things.


I heart the hats, of course look at my pic... I would now wouldn't it? Im quite particular about them tho, so Im not saying ill be first in line to buy one. As for the looks... they are sharp, to be sure. The Big Pony thing... its his kick right now. I mean, have you seen his store or website over the past year? Its all Big Pony this and that (and the lesser chains are starting to do it to, you haven't noticed). Lets just say, he was trying to make them the most fashionable as possible, even though we all kinda know his thoughts were perhaps not so pure.

Oh, and about the whole "waspy" look or whatever... hello? You are sending these guys down in "designer" clothes. Of COURSE they will be looking a little snobby.

Dan~


They look hot...as in "OMG! I am gonna DIE from the heat"...
Hate the hats.


At first I hated it because I don't like Raplh Lauren (anyone see his Fall/Winter 2008 stuff ... ick!) but it's grown on me. It's very American and very sportswear. What more is there? That beig said, I would of liked to see a more feminine silhouette for the women or at least something different ... and I hate the hats. Closing ceremony outfits are so Raplh Lauren americana, "I could buy that at Target" but I kind of expected that.
I wonder if they'd ever consider Marc Jacobs for next time? Or even Micheal Kors? That I'd love to see.


My 4 gripes are: 1) too unisex; 2) the RL logo is so large it's not a pony, it's a full-size horse; 3) the buttons are cheapo looking; and 4) walking sweatboxes.

The closing ceremony outfits look better, but I'd prefer to see the women in Leanne's outfit.


Judging by the look, I guess that Jennifer should have been the winner.


ralph lauren outfits: classic, classy. i could see the dif b'tween mens & womens. showed off the athletic asses & perfect bodies to perfection. imnsho!


At the risk of sounding like an SF Bay Liberal, the uniforms are the perfect articulation of the perception of the United States of America at this moment in time: conservative, risk-averse, formulaic, big-business-friendly (hello, GIANT Lauren logo) and utterly devoid of--forgive me-- "the vision thing". The "roadster" cap is just an extra swash of elitist icing.

The overall effect is so yawn-inducing that you can almost see the 73 focus groups that were involved in this.

This whole exercise has me really curious about what the process really is of getting to "here". If anyone has links to resources about this I'd love to have them.


Anonymous (3:00 PM) said...
The 10 sharpest-dressed teams:

1. Netherlands. Gray suits with orange ties and cool, two-tone shoes.

5. Italy. Gray suit coats, black ties and snazzy silver shoes.


You liked the Captain Kangaroo suits? And you liked the silver metallic sneakers on the guys? Who the hell wears a blazer with cargo pants? Sorry, but Italy and the Netherlands actually deserve a Heidi 'auf'.

And Japan did a similar but better take on the Team USA outfits; navy blazers, white shirts, white trousers on the guys, white knee shorts on the gals, and red ribbon (?) bowties on the gals. No twee hats and not a corporate logo to be seen.


That ostentatious Polo logo could have gone and the blazer would have looked much nicer. I mean, we all know who designed this. Did it have to be so big and so obvious?

Not a fan of the hats, though. Why couldn't we be cowboys? (cue groans from the peanut gallery) At least that's identifiable as American. The golf/driving hat? Not so much.


You say classic, I say old, whitebread and musty.

I don't mind the caps. I can see Diddy wearing them right alongside George Plimpton. But the overall looks screams Old America, or worse, Old Europe.

They represent nothing of America's multicultural present, but they represents everythiing about America's current class struggles, and its continuingly confusing image to the world.

And yes, while a corporate logo is nothing new, its size and contrast on the blazer are crass.


i like them but they look hot


I'm glad the USA got to wear something approaching a sneaker--how did the gals in heels make it around the stadium?!


I'm all for a more casual opening ceremony uniform for the Summer Olympics, it's too damn hot for all that regalia, save it for the winter games. Lee Anne, Korto and Joe's designs would work if the USOC went in this direction.

I am sooo po'ed at the USOC for not making RL tone down or remove the polo player logo. Also, it weirdly looks like the equestrian events have some kind of favored status.

I can't get into the hat, it isn't jaunty enough.


the ralph lauren look was, and is always very american, if america in confined to the borders of the eastern seaboard. ralph lauren's look has shaped what the world considers the "all-american" look, but that's because, for so long, any movie that wasn't "genre" that wasn't about movie stars was set in the eastern seaboard amongst well-to-do people. ralph lauren has been doing his best for decades to dress americans like rich new englanders.


Ralph Lauren is not and has never been classy. It's American chav faux-chic for people with no real style. It's mass produced BonTon, middle aged and tired. Really, this is the best we can do?


For those who think the Polo logo is too large, the "Roots" emblazoned on the berets for one of the Winter Games -- 2002, maybe? -- was ridiculous. Oh, and CANADIAN.

Anyhoo, love these ones. Classic, and suitable to athletic bodies (it's gotta be hard to fit a shot-putter AND a gymnast, no?).


At the winter olympics in Turino, the Roots logo was as large as either the USA's or Canada's. Roots is a Canadian company and their beret became an iconic piece from those games.


I'm certain that Mr. Lifshitz was keeping in mind that the outfits, while designed to represent a country's essential spirit and all that nonsense, are also designed to be seen by a worldwide television audience. The logos are huge so they'll show up well on TV. Tasteless? Sure. But if you're going to ding the Olympics and its myriad corporate sponsors for being commercial, you're about 24 years late.


the "Roots" emblazoned on the berets for one of the Winter Games -- 2002, maybe? -- was ridiculous.

Yes, it was 2002, first Olympics after 9/11. I wasn't fond of the beret, but did love the leather jackets. In any case, those berets sold like hotcakes and put Roots on the map.

I don't doubt that RL had marketability on his mind when he designed that look. People do love a classic navy blazer. And whaddya know, replicas of those blazers are going to be available at RL's website, are supposedly a hot commodity, and are expected to sell out at over $600 apiece.

Doesn't make them any less boring, though.


Two words: Gossip Girl
I don't even watch that show and that's what I thought of.
They look like private school boys heading off to class.
I like how the girls aren't wearing skirts or something. They're athletes, not going out to tea.


I agree with Joanie, I would have like to have seen cowboy hats instead of those caps...the opening ceremonies is all ABOUT cheese!


I think all in all it looked okay, if a bit dated and boring and yacht club like. There were much worse outfits shown by other countries.
But I really wished they had given the women a different jacket.


GeeGee24 said...

I had seen the RL Olympic look and felt immediately that Terri's look was a complete derivation. the most significant change was in the top - and her tube top was perhaps the worst part of her look.


GeeGee, Terri's look was possibly a derivation of the classic blazer with white trousers yachting costume of the 1920's, but certainly not a rip off of Lauren. Did you happen to notice the large numbers of other countries that had similar costumes to the US? Pakistain and Japan for instance, they certainly. A great many more had dark blazers of their own countries flag color with white trousers, they certainly didn't rip of Lauren. The yachting costume is in the public domain.
Terri's in my opinion was far more of an original than RL's.

Sewing Siren


#1.) There is no such thing as "tropical wool" in 95% humidity and the heat of 90K bodies.

#2.) So many have already stated that RL's look is very North Eastern seaboard preppy so am not even going there.

#3.) While corporate logos are on all the competition outfits, there should NOT have been one on the opening ceremony costume. We are not the United States of Giagantic Pony Logos.

#4.) There is NOTHING wrong with the direct colors from our Flag. These are outfits that say "We're the USA", I don't give a shit how garish that might seem to the fashion elite right now but the colors parading in the Olympic stadium should be representative of the flag. Our atheletes should be wearing the Honor (red), Purity (white) and Justice (blue) colors of our country.

#5.) It may be poo-pooed but the stars on our flag are also representative of our history. Each one represents a STATE for we are the UNITED STATES not simply Americans. Where are the stars that represent who we really are?

#6.) Finally, the hat thing. As it has fallen OUT of favor for a vast majority of citizens, why even bother trying to shove hats down the Olympian's throats? Those golf/driving hats were not only comical but indicative of another No-No by RL.


I liked the look---classic preppy with a side of Gatsby, which is very American. And very Ralph Lauren. But TPTB had to know that's what they'd get when they hired him.

As you all noted, it would have been nice to have seen a little differentiation between the sexes. Maybe a white skirt and a different hat/cap for the women. Still, considering the exceptionally ugly coughCanadacough and the exceptionally tacky coughSwitzerlandcough garments that showed up in the parade, the US looked very nice.

And I just have to ask...were the Dutch doing a revival of "The Music Man" after the Olympics? No, really. Were they?


I like them, but note like everyone else, that those logos look like Freakin' Clydesdales, not ponies, they are so large. Preppy athletic looks are American sportswear, this has a slightly retro feel, and all in all it was the best team look on the track. (Though after those spectacular ceremonies, who really gave a good Schlitz what the ATHLETES were wearing in?)


Anon @ 9:51,

Red, White, and Blue say "We're the USA"?

I guess 20+ nations did not get the memo, including France, Chile, the UK, Thailand, Panama, the Netherlands, Iceland, and the Czech Republic.


Gawker posted about the uniforms and one of you got mentioned, Kittens!
Read it here.


Daniel, you went to prep school! All you had to do was do a design of what you saw around you -- very Ralph Lauren! I know, I know, you think it's unoriginal and boring, but it would have been so easy for you to win with your background.


Perfectly acceptable, but prefer the RL Polo logo not be bigger than the chinese-child-labor-sewn-on-olympic-logo.

And that's more offensive to me than the enormous logo...the fact that the Team USA had uniforms made in China. And made badly, at that.


Does anyone have a link to a picture of Team Poland and the so-called cocktail dresses. I misses a few countries and apparently this was one of them.

To be fair, though, to my Polish ancestors, cocktail dresses would be an improvement to the old "style" of Polish womens attire ;o)


They looked good but it was a little boring. I feel like they could have just told all the athletes to go out and buy a blue blazer. There's nothing that makes it stand out as a uniform.


hello, i'm patsy stone said...
Perfectly acceptable, but prefer the RL Polo logo not be bigger than the chinese-child-labor-sewn-on-olympic-logo

So agree with this! We get it, Ralphie--you want to promote your brand in China. But this is beyond tacky.

Considering the heat and humidity, seersucker would have been a better choice, and very clean and American--remember Michael Knight's great seersucker pants in Season 3? How about long shorts with seersucker blazers? Basically, this look says "I phoned it in" loud and clear.


since everyone is complaining about the polo pony, what about the ROOTS name all over the team stuff since 2002?


i hate that he put his logo on there -- not even just his logo -- but his logo on steroids (not appropriate for the olympic games!!!)

the women's outfits, i think, look too much like the men's. even if they ahd skirts on it would ahve been better.

classic - -- yes
could have been better tho


These uniforms are clean but I feel like it's very country club. The obvious placement of the giant Polo logo is tacky.

The closing ceremony uniforms do look clean but again, very country club. Which doesn't exactly represent the US as a whole.


I can't see why they are ripping it either, every one looked ince in teh outfit at the opening ceremonies. This was complementry to a lot of athletic body types...and even though it took a more masculine tone looked line on most of the women. I mean this isn't project runway this is "real life" and although Korto was the winer of the show I couldn't see anyone actually wearing head to toe white linen in the opening ceremonies first off men wouldn't be able to wear her outfit and team USA likes looks that can be worn by men and women. Plus all white does not actually translate well on TV and in certain lighting!


America looked great. Chic, classic.

But poor Peru... they looked like they just got back from a day of picking fruit.


After the Hungarian women, I ain't complaining... "our kids" were tastefully done on many levels.


the logo is incredibly tacky. The athletes were there together and were wearing a uniform, so as to represent their nation first, before themselves. He should have done the same. Such blatant opportunism and self-promotion makes him look very bad.

I agree with someone who already posted that Michael Kors would be a great choice for the next time.

Still, I'm canadian and envy you yanks: our outfits were embarassingly lame.


I just had to post this:

Gawker

I came across it via Huffington Post's 'Style' section. Forgive me if it's already been alluded to elsewhere. But how cool is that? Everybody, but everybody knows Project Rungay!


Meh. They're okay outfits in general, but for the Olympics? No. It's so "packaged prep"; they don't look like America's elite athletes, they look like junior members of the yacht club. Also, something rubs me the wrong way about having the Polo logo on the front.


To borrow a word from the Duchess, I thought the outfit looked chic (but I'm an elitist). However, Lisa Leslie is proof that everyone cannot wear a hat.


If "classic" is what we're going for, might as well hearken back to Greece and have the athletes march in the nude.

I would have no objection to that, especially for the men's gymnastics team. Rowr.


I love you both, but for once you guys are totally off the mark. The true olyumpic fashion story of these games is the Speedo LZR Racersuit being worn by the US Swim Team. Its an absolutely beautiful, totally cutting edge technical garment, made with high performance fabric as sleek as a shark skin, sewn with lasers AND it was designed by Comme de Garcons.


"Phyllis said...

I love you both, but for once you guys are totally off the mark. "

They're off the mark because they're not discussing something that you want to discuss?


The jackets do look a little cheaply made up close and I think the women could have done without the hats and maybe some bermudas or capris (perhaps a more feminine suit with a red blazer--with the men still in blue--visually would have been a HUGE red/white/blue statement). The polo logo was a tad large. But other than that, I really have no problem with our athletes looking, as some people have described, like a bunch of country-club-going, yacht-sailing prep school yuppie Wasps. But that's just me.

I actually thought Sweden's women in the kimono tops and capris looked adorable (and much more weather appropriate), and the Finnish women had some wrap dresses with the men in suits--while I was not a fan of the print selected, it was a cute idea and that style dress works well on any figure.

Canada was a surprise. Roots always did such a nice job with their Olympic wardrobe in the past, did they switch designers? Those outfits were fugly.


Olympic opening USA RL costume is old British 1920's with old farmer/news boy caps. Old, old, old and Silly but better than goofy baseball hats or cowboy hats or feathers?
Italy was 21st Century style? Do we have any designers like them in the US?


YAWN. Can't RL make something that doesn't look like everything he's done throughout his career?

Not really representative of American fashion, I suppose. Which is disappointing.


I came here to comment on the cricket jerseys as well, but someone beat me to it: "I think it's difficult to pin down what is "American" and what is not. The cricket outfits did make me giggle, though."

I don't know much about what's American, being as I'm not, but I can pretty much guarantee that anything that references cricket (the sport, not the insect) is NOT, in any way, even the slightest bit, American, and those are cricket jerseys, through and through.

And cricket isn't even an Olympic sport, although I believe it will be played as an exhibition sport in London.


Anon 9:34, Rl's US Team designs are plain old boring and I'm not the only person here who feels that way. They made elite athletes look like caddies at the Ryder Cup. And yeah, I think a more newsworthy Olympic fashion subject is the LZR suit rather than a tedious re-tread by a designer who has been doing the same thing for decades.


The polo insignia annoyed me as much as the NBC logo that stayed fixed to the screen.

Totally unnecessary and terribly tacky.


Fantastic Ralph Lauren's the opening ceremony parade outfit pictures!! I love caps and would definitely browse US Olympic Shop for the same.





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