It’s not only by means of sporting prowess that the Rio 2016 athletes are putting on a show. Another element that has really been catching the eye are the spectacular official outfits.
It’s no coincidence. Top designers from top brands were called upon to leave their mark on the designs, bringing together the latest trends to create exclusive looks for teams from all the corners of the world.
Each delegation usually has three types of uniform – one of which is formal attire, used for the opening and closing ceremonies, another is a casual look, worn by the athletes when they receive their medals, and the final one is that used for each specific sport.
Have a look at some of the highlights:
For the second time running the British outfits have been designed by Stella McCartney. This year’s version focusses on the letters G and B, developed by the College of Arms, and which feature on all of Team GB’s outfits, both for the Olympics and Paralympics. According to an Adidas spokesman, the material is 10% lighter than that used for the 2012 Games, making it more suitable for the tropical climate found in Brazil. The end result is cool and ultramodern – standard Stella McCartney.
One of this year’s most modern looks, Canada’s outfits go down the sporty fashion road, with cropped blazers, minimalist caps and classy trainers, giving an overall urban yet sophisticated look. The team behind the design are the Canadian pair Dan and Dean Caten – Dsquared2.
With mint blazers, yellow ties and white shorts, the Aussie outfits are designed by Sportscraft. Well received, the look has been gaining plenty of plaudits, and with their bold coats of arms, they have been compared to the uniforms used by Harry Potter et al. in Hogwarts.
The mega-brand Hugo Boss was commissioned to come up with something for the Mexican athletes to wear at the opening ceremony, with the Mexican stylist Pineda Covalín also lending a hand: the result was a charming handkerchief/scarf in men’s and women’s versions.
Made to measure and mixing together beige tones with red and navy blue in a series of military-esque jackets, trainers, loafers and sandals, the Cuban outfits are designed by none other than Christian Louboutin. With one of the year’s most highly praised outfits, the French stylist has managed to create a look which is at once cool, elegant and retro – just like Havana Vieja.
United States of America
For the fifth time, Ralph Lauren lends his brand of casual style to the American delegation. The individual pieces from the collection will soon be on sale for anyone wishing to purchase them, among which of course are his famous polo neck t-shirts, as well as coats and other Olympic items.
A touch of classic inspiration for this collection – with a tendency towards black and a discreet Italian flag – the uniform consists of polo neck t-shirts, jackets and swimming costumes worthy of Italian high fashion. Unsurprising really, as for the second time, the man behind the design is the iconic Giorgio Armani.
Sweatpants and stripy leggings are what stand out in this modern collection from H&M, designing their first Olympic outfits. What’s more, a tie-in commercial line is already in H&M stores the world over, with Caitlyn Jenner leading the line. The colours are of course blue and yellow.
The man responsible for the French athletes’ beautiful outfits is Felipe Oliveira, creative director of Lacoste. Cool, clean and chic, exactly as one expects from the famous green crocodile.
And so we come to the hosts. The collection comes from the Brazilian stylist Lenny Niemeyer, in partnership with C&A, who have come up with an outfit based on Brazil’s natural diversity. The uniforms highlight tones of blue, green and yellow, whilst showcasing Brazilian flora and fauna.
With the Olympic Park now finding itself at the centre of a daily fashion parade, you might say that if fashion were an Olympic sport, the competition for gold would be fierce!