In case my excessive tweeting hadn’t tipped anyone off, I fucking love the Olympics. Love them. I spent the entire afternoon enraptured by fencing. (And looking up lessons, because nothing says “good idea” like me and sharp objects, am I right?) I also love making bitchy, sarcastic commentary on things I probably have no business critiquing, and because I was bored today, I decided what better to do than semi-belatedly (and only on the internet can “24 hours after” be considered “belated”) critique the fashion from the Parade of Nations? That’s right. Nothing could be better. After all, coming together as a world to mock countries that aren’t ours is what the Olympics are really about.
I think Belgium might have been my favorite out of the entire parade. It peaked super early. But they illustrate an excellent point – always go preppy. Not airline-preppy, prep-school preppy. Gosh, you look adorable, Belgium. Snaps.
How quickly you sour, Olympic fashion. A lot of people thought this was a tribute to the Monty Python Gumbys sketch, like this excuses bright blue rain boots and spandex that makes the baby Jesus weep. First of all, if they were doing a tribute, they needed to go whole-hog and have those weird tied kerchiefs on their head. And furthermore, while I understand wanting to pay tribute to your host nation, this is what you chose, Czech Republic? Really? The United Kingdom has a rich cultural history, not to mention fashion history, and you were not inspired by any of that, but a sketch about a group of morons whose catchphrase is “my brain hurts”, that’s where you found your muse!
Look at your life, Czech Republic. Look at your choices.
You know those Hot and Cold thermal bags that look like they’re made of crinkly tinfoil? Apparently, Estonia does, because it looks like their jackets were part of a Project Runway challenge where they had to re-purpose things they found in a Target. Though I do give them props for their clear commitment to recycling.
One of my best friends, Teija, (who, incidentally, is from Finland) is getting married. One day we were discussing how the sudden influx of wedding-related e-mails meant that the sidebar ads were taking a turn for the strange. The ad we spent the most time boggling over was one for this service called Love Is Art, which supplies body paint that you and your partner cover yourself in, then you lay out a canvas, and then you, well. You know. Get down to business.
Because of Teija, I always pay special attention to how Finland does in the Olympics. And literally the first thing I thought was “oh my god, the pattern is from the Love Is Art people! Teija is going to die!” But no, no, it’s apparently some sort of Finnish landscape. The motto of these uniforms seems to be “Finland, where everything is so bleak our landscape gets confused for paint splatters”.
This is by far the outfit that upset my mother the most. Not just because she’s always hated the pink is for girls, blue is for boys thing, either. “Those aren’t Germany’s colors,” she kept repeating. “THOSE AREN’T GERMANY’S COLORS.” And then I had to hold back a really terrible pun about “would you say this is Anarchy in the UK?!” Mostly because I knew she wouldn’t get the reference.
Though we both agreed the scarves were nice.
India’s such a jerk. They have the prettiest native costume and they know it. “I hope your serape comforts you while you suck it, Mexico,” they cackle. They’re the worst. By which I mean they’re the best. They’re like the Chinese gymnastic team in Olympics of ethnic costumes. And they know they’ve got looking the fliest on lockdown until the Japanese get the balls to come out in full-on kimonos.
A lot of countries tried to pull off the hats, and a lot of countries failed. And if you’d polled me about which countries could totally pull off fedoras and white pleated pants, I’m not gonna lie, South Korea would not be on my list. But dudes, they look baller. I like to imagine that they dressed so well because the Olympic opening ceremonies are like going to a wedding when you know your crazy ex is going to be there. “Why yes, North Korea,” these outfits say, “I’m leading a satisfying and fulfilled life without your totalitarian dictatorship. Also, lately I’ve been trying a diet rich in antioxidants, and I feel like it’s really working for me.”
My mom actually clocked out somewhere in the J’s or K’s to check her e-mail and go to bed. She was literally on the first step and going upstairs with her fudgicle when Mexico came on and I screamed for her to come see and mock with me. Look, I can stand by crazy color, and I realize that Mexico is far more liberal with the neons than my staunchly New Englander soul is comfortable with. But for the love of God, at least all wear coordinating color, and do not edge your ponchos with faux fur in neon green or orange. I mean I’m against faux fur in general, but if you’re going to do it, do it for the winter games, and do it in a natural color. Right now it just looks like the entire Mexico contingent raped and pillaged Sesame Street on the way to the ceremony.
Overall, Africa just destroyed everyone in this parade, though. It’s like they had a continent-wide conference where they were like “Guys, I know we lose in literacy rates, infant mortality, and we’re kind of going through some issues with brutal dictatorships and genocides, but dammit, we’re really pretty!” and then decided to run with that as their theme. And man, they served up some gorgeous, fierce women. Look at these delegates from Nigeria, working it like these Olympics owe them rent money.
This look from Oman (fine, technically in Asia) makes me want to be RuPaul so I can comment on in appropriately with phrases like “SERVING UP 1000 ARABIAN NIGHTS OF FIERCENESS” and “GENIE, RUB MY LAMP” and some pun about queens that I’m sure I could make if only I did drag. See? I need help from experts on this. Also, if I’m heterosexual, white, and biologically female can I get away with snapping in Z formation and saying “girl, you betta werk”? If the answer is yes, that’s what I’m doing. If the answer is no, I was asking for a hypothetical friend.
This is not a picture about fashion, by the way, this is taking break to cheer for the first female athletes repping Saudi Arabia. They could be wearing potato sacks, for all I care. Feminism five! Go get ‘em, ladies.
USA, see what Serbia’s doing? See how awesome Serbia looks? This is how you do preppy right. This is how we should have looked. We should not have looked like a French flight attendant who in their spare time maintains a yacht. (Also whoever thought up the double-breasted blazer, I hope you’re burning in hell. Double-breasted looks terrible on everyone.) We should have been all about this level of fine, fresh, and fierce. America, you can make it up to me by getting me an outfit exactly like this in my size.
The entire contingent from Spain seemed extremely drunk. If I had to wear this hot mess, I’d have gotten wasted too. Team Spain could have come out all in $5 matador Halloween costumes like you see at Walmart and it would have looked more chic than this.
I feel like everyone hated Team Sweden’s look but me. But I love these colors! I love rugby shirts! I think it’s cute! Suck it, world, you’re just jealous because the entire nation of Sweden is made up of improbably attractive people. And that’s not even my opinion, it’s just a scientific fact.
I feel like the thought process behind Ukraine’s outfit was the result of locking a bunch of designers in a room with drapes from Crate & Barrel and telling them that they weren’t allowed out until they designed the most stereotypically Ukranian outfit they could possibly design.
Also, I have never been to Ukraine, but I feel like even there it’s not cold enough to warrant wearing fur fezzes in the summer. Actually, I take that back – there is no weather that excuses a fur fez. There less objectionable ways to lose your ears to frostbite, and if it’s either that or wear the fez, frostbite is the more noble option.