It was a global fashion face-off when over 200 nations marched in the Parade of Nations last night, during the Opening Ceremony of the London Games. The international fashion show merged culture and style with garb ranging from the tracksuits, bold country colors and berets that we’ve come to expect, in additional to some sartorial surprises.
From the plain and simple to the loud and garish, A Glam Slam broke down the Opening Ceremony’s best-dressed, worst-dressed and everything in between. Check it out:
Republic of San Marino: Italian designer, Salvatore Ferragamo, developed the fashions for the Republic of San Marino. Chic, belted, white sheath dresses for the women and sharp suits for the men landed them among the evening’s best-dressed. The ladies topped off their classic style with crossbody bags and peep toe heels with bows.
Netherlands: Colorful, clean and sharp. Suitsupply provided the Netherlands’ athletes with a range of timeless pieces including trousers, dresses, blazers, sweater vests and trench coats, all in modern hues. The contrasting orange trousers on the men and trenches on the women provided a great visual.
Brazil & Jamaica: These two nations are grouped together because of their similar colorways. Both countries neatly balanced pops of vibrant yellow and green hues against darker coloring in their designs. Jamaica’s gear came from Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob Marley, who teamed up with Puma. Marley’s military-inspired details provided a unique finishing touch.
Belgium: Belgium made clever use of its country flag, dressing female athletes in black dresses with red, white and yellow stripes. Tailored red jackets with black button detailing and dressy kitten heels finished off the high-fashion look.
Republic of Korea: These Fila fashions were designed to pay homage to the team’s uniforms from the 1948 Games. The attire was well-fitted and the overall look was simple, fresh and clean.
Italy: With Giorgio Armani designing your outfits, you know your in good hands. Team Italy suited up in these elegant designs.
Mexico: It was an explosion of color for Team Mexico. The mismatched, multi-patterned ponchos required sunglasses.
Spain: Spain’s athletes expressed their discontent with the Bosco Sport designs even before the Games began. The mustard yellow and red hues and unflattering fits, especially for the women, were a crime against Olympic fashion.
Czech Republic: Czech Republic gave a nice nod to London’s rainy weather with the blue wellies, but when paired with patterned capris, white tunics and navy blazers, the team mixed too many trends at once.
Sweden: Sweden’s country-colored blue and yellow striped rubgy shirts and matching sneakers left many on extreme sides of the “love it” or “hate it” fashion spectrum. Though they evoke a fun and sporty vibe, A Glam Slam chooses the latter.
Ukraine: There’s just way too much going on here.
Great Britain: As the “home” team, there’s added pressure in all facets of the Olympic Games, even on the fashion front. Fans likened the white tracksuits with golden accents to Elvis Presley, Justin Bieber and astronauts. The gear came from apparel company, Next, prompting McCartney to confirm via twitter that these were not her designs. She tweeted: “Thanks for the support! To clarify, Stella designed the Team GB performance kit, podium suit & villagewear, not the Olympic ceremony suits.”
In addition to the best and worst-dressed nations, several others should be recognized for their unique contributions to the evening’s sartorial showcase:
Liechtenstein & Serbia: Denim is something we don’t typically see during the Parade of Nations and last night it showed up twice. Some have deemed it inappropriate for the Olympic stage but both countries wore the casual wear well.
Nigeria: On the cusp of the best-dressed list, Nigeria’s female athletes represented their nation in these festive and fantastic green and white dresses.
Estonia, Germany & Canada: The temperatures might be cool in London but these are the Summer Olympics. These three nations were better suited for the Winer weather.
Togo & Finland: Vibrant colors and vivid patterns were numerous throughout the Parade of Nations but these two designs from Togo and Finland were exceptionally bold. Thankfully both nations opted for all-white bottoms to balance out their wild tops.
Poland: Poland’s white dresses decorated with red poppies, cropped jackets and red flats were among the more unique clothing choices of the evening.
Hungary: The designs were simple for Hungary’s men but the women’s red dresses and green scarves had them looking like they belonged in a western and left fans confused.
Cape Verde: As always, tracksuits are plentiful during the Parade of Nations. Props to Cape Verde for making theirs look fashionable.
Portugal: A nod to Portugal for accessorizing with those awesome scarves.
United States: Fans had a common reaction to Team USA’s Ralph Lauren gear, noting that the team looked French in their “made in China” fashions. While the blazers were elegant and very well-tailored, the women’s skirt hems could have be shorter.