I get it, someone on the U.S. Olympic Committee was tired of seeing U.S. athletes walking the worldwide runway in basic track suits and
Style savvy berets at recent opening ceremonies, so the Olympic Committee drafted the United Lord of Preppy, Ralph Lauren to design a "classier" more formal look for the games in Beijing.
I had a peek at the long-awaited featured wardrobe this morning and I just might have to take Ralph's pen and paper away from him and remind the fashion icon sometimes less is more.
This is what Lauren is delivering tonight at the ceremony: tropical wool navy blazers, (yes, wool) off-white wool trousers, white cotton broadcloth shirts, white twill newsboy caps and striped silk neckwear -- ties for the men, scarves for the women and white shoes. Oh and let's not forget the oversized, emblazoned white Polo pony logo "billboard "at the left of all 650 blazers.
Seriously? Ralph, Ralph, Ralph...
I am a supporter of the "ambassador" look, but I also have a few concerns. After wearing a school uniform my entire life, I'm sure all this simply brings up a lot of deep rooted, emotionally charged, fashion flashbacks for me. While our athletes might look like an army of preppy statesmen, they also look like a bucket of boarding school kids getting ready for a long sweaty and uncomfortable trip to the principal office.
This pit stop at prep school is just fine for the average petite 5 foot pole vaulter, but for a 7 foot wrestler or basketball player in the midst of the stickiest, hottest, smoggiest, less than ideal temperature situation?
I'm not sure RL got the full Beijing weather memo. We can safely say, come September, there may just be some sweat-stained, designer threads for sale on EBay.
Let's be honest? In the history of sports, has anyone really ever feared a guy in country club attire? No, not so much. Team USA may look clean cut and pretty, but we're not really putting off that "we're gonna kick your ass and grab gold" vibe, that's all I'm saying. Maybe next round, Sean Jean and Ralph Lauren could collaborate and create a happy medium for us. Puffy will slide some urban style into the slightly over sweetened Americana.
All fashion aside, the bigger question I have for Ralph, is this: what's up with the blatant display of the giant emblazoned pony logo? Where did that sweet, petite, polite, gentle and quiet pony gallop off to?
I miss him.
Not a lot of humility here. I suppose the worldwide free advertising campaign with hundreds of thousands of international reporters saying his name as the U.S team rolls by during (and after) the ceremony just wasn't going to cut it, so he chose to slap a steroid injected pony in our faces.
I'm slightly shocked by Lauren's lack of faith in the media on this one. Sure there are no guarantees, but he really didn't trust what kind of exposure being featured on the world's largest stage would offer. You didn't need a super-sized pony to remind us you designed this costume, it has your name all over it, sans pony.
Lauren was paid less than 10 million for this gig and that was okay because reportedly the venture would provide the company the opportunity to spread it's tentacles to China where Polo doesn't have a lot going on. Yet. And this people, is the kind of competitive market spirit that these games are all about right? The jackets will be available for $695 after the opening ceremony as well as a while bunch of other Ralph Lauren related Olympic goodies at RalphLauren.com and at Ralph Lauren stores. Go capitalism.
Well, Mr. Lauren, enjoy the world stage tonight, because what you have guaranteed with your life-size logo hit, is you have undoubtedly made it that much easier for the creatives over at The Counterfeit Factory LTD. in Beijing to produce even superior replica's of your opening ceremony creations. I'd say, you have about 3 days before the unofficial sale starts. I target $11.99 for a full Opening Ceremony Team USA Uniform by Monday afternoon Beijing time.
By the way, they say thank you and this my fellow American, is the Chinese interpretation of the true international competitive market.