The Olympics take place on a grand stage and companies are tasked with designing apparel for athletes that merges technical innovations with a memorable style. At the Winter Games, competitions were marked by sartorial displays of team pride from countries across the globe. The Sochi style spectrum ranged from elegant ensembles to garish garb, from wardrobe wins to costume controversies. Athletes, and commentators as well, added their own flair in the form of hairstyles, helmets and other adornments.
From the Opening Ceremony and beyond, A Glam Slam broke down Sochi’s golden style moments, as well as the looks that failed to make the podium.
Norwegian Curling Team pants: The team first debuted their wildly patterned pants from Loudmouth Golf, during the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. The trousers quickly became a fashion sensation and a team trademark. Leading up to the Sochi Games, fans had been eagerly anticipating the newest set of styles. Throughout their Olympic run, the team debuted several different designs, including the Norwegian flag, paint splatters, and florals.
Skeleton Racing Helmets: Competitors added a touch of personal style to their uniforms in the form of intricately detailed helmet designs. Skeletons, stripes and a bald eagle were among the graphics that decorated the domes. Volunteer Uniforms: The Sochi uniforms for volunteers and staff were certainly easy to spot. The rainbow colored winter wear featured a patchwork quilt design, mean to represent the different regions of Russia. Tara & Johnny: The Olympic figure skaters turned commentators made a strong on-air debut in Sochi. They were praised for their expertise, but it was their extravagant clothing choices, from Weir in particular, that sparked a Sochi fashion phenomenon.
Wardrobe Malfunctions: While these faux pas would not make the style podium, they were memorable nonetheless. Russian speedskater, Olga Graf, unzipped her suit after scoring the bronze medal, forgetting that she had nothing underneath. Canadian bobsledder, Christopher Spring, experienced some fashion difficulty of his own, when he discovered that his Olympic suit was too tight. Henrik Harlaut had trouble keeping his pants on while competing. The Swedish skier’s overly baggy bottoms fell to his knees after jumps. Team USA’s Under Armour speedskating outfits were also among the Olympic faux pas, as some blamed the suits for playing a role in the poor performance of athletes. Despite the controversy, U.S. Speedskating extended it’s partnership with the brand for another eight years. Henrik Harlaut’s Gloves: Harlaut snagged another spot on the list for his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle gloves. They were unique and cool and a true reflection of his colorful personality. Competitors With Style Quirks: Olympians across the board expressed their individual style in a variety of interesting ways. Snowboarder and slopestyle silver medalist, Staale Sandbech, rocked a medal stand mohawk. Czech Republic snowboardcross and gold medalist, Eva Samkova, sported her signature faux-mustache, which she wears for good luck. British slopestyle athlete, Katie Summerhayes, revealed a Union Jack grill, while Estonian biathlete, Grete Gaim, debuted some crazy contacts. Shaun White’s Short Mane: Shaun White chopped his famously long red locks prior to the Sochi Games. After failing to land on the podium, many were quick to place the blame on his new hairdo. Skating Costumes: Figure skating styles are always at the forefront of the Winter Olympics fashion conversation and this year was no different. The pairs, ice dancing, men’s, and women’s skaters in Sochi debuted a new crop of costumes that ranged from classic and chic, to garish and gaudy.
Hubertus von Hohenlohe’s Mariachi Ski Suit: The Mexican skier teased his suit prior to the Games. He made a strong style statement when he finally hit the slopes.
“It really is a question of personality. You kind of have to have the personality of wanting to be noticed,” Von Hohenlohe told NBC. “It’s obvious that every circus needs different acts. You can’t just have the winners,” he said.
Jamaican Bobsled Team’s Watermelon Helmets: The team didn’t need anything to attract attention, as they were easily among the Olympic fan favorites. However, their watermelon-themed helmet designs and their yellow ski suits caused additional buzz.
Kazakhstan’s Flag-Bearer: The Sochi Opening Ceremony provided the ultimate runway of national refinery. With Team USA’s Ralph Lauren Sweaters, Russia’s embellished coats, and Germany’s colorful creations, there was no shortage of outrageous fashions. Kazakhstan’s flag-bearer, cross-country skier Yerdos Akhmadiyev, was perhaps the fashion MVP, with this head-to-toe design.