Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lauren Designs Team USA's Olympic Ceremony Looks

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Making it to the Olympics is a dream for many of the nation’s athletes. There is a powerful association with representing your country and wearing your Team USA gear.

Most Americans who are not athletes live vicariously through Team USA. The Olympics pull the entire nation together and people show their pride in our country.

Everyone wants Team USA to represent the nation's best assets while competing and make the country look as wonderful as possible.

For me, one of the things I always look at during the games is what the athletes are wearing. I want Team USA to look powerful, confident, classy, and All-American.

Personally, I think a team’s uniform says a great deal about their country. It's what people see first about a nation while watching the games at home. So that uniform better be a great representation.

This year, American designer, Ralph Lauren has designed Team USA’s uniforms for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Lauren first won the contract to outfit USA’s athletes in 2008 for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. He has designed the team’s official ceremonial outfits ever since.

His partnership with Team USA was running smoothly until it was discovered that the uniforms designed for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London had been manufactured in China. This information was upsetting to American officials and U.S. senators created the Team USA Made In America Act of 2012 in order to make it a requirement for all USA Olympic uniforms to be officially produced and manufactured in the United States.

Even after this controversy Lauren went on to design for this year’s Olympic Ceremony. His designs are not out of the norm. They include classic Polo shirts which were to be expected along with sweaters, cardigans, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and pea coats, all made in the USA.

In my opinion the sweaters look outdated. They are covered with large knit American flags, the Olympic logo, snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs. Looking at one might conjure up the thought of an 80’s Christmas sweater.

The American flag and the Olympics logo are both things to be extremely proud and supportive of but I wish the cardigans and sweaters were just toned down a bit

I have to say the best part of Lauren’s Olympic collection is his pea coat. It’s navy with a single red stripe and features the official logo for the U.S. Olympic Team and Lauren’s signature pony. Overall, very nice. The coats definitely have the All-American look and also a regal and powerful vibe.

I don't really care for the sweatpants that Lauren created for the Olympic ceremonies. Yes, they’ll keep our competitors warm, but for the ceremony a nice pair of dress pants would have been much more appreciated in my eyes.

Lauren designed the Opening and Closing Ceremony looks for Team USA. Nike will be providing the uniforms that athletes will actually be competing in.

Other countries’ Olympic Collections are either hits or misses. France looks clean and modern with minimalistic blazers, pants, and sweaters designed by Lacoste. Sweden’s uniforms designed by H&M give a modern twist to Sweden patriotism. My personal favorite goes to Estonia who’s Olympians will be looking very chic in black and white sweaters, jackets, and hats.

My question and many other's is should Lauren continue to design for Team USA in the future?

You’d think with his popular preppy All- American style that he would turn out the perfect fashion representation for our team, but in some cases I think he went a bit over board. The sweaters are too much but the Polos and pea coats are a step in the right direction. Lauren has been in charge of Team USA’s fashion choices for awhile so maybe it's time to see what someone else can do.

I’d love to see Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Kate Spade, Tom Ford, or even Rag & Bone design a collection for Team USA. I think each would bring a cool, modern twist to the preppy style the U.S. is known for.

I can see team USA blazers, collared shirts, and cardigans with each of these designer's spins on them and I think any of them would do a great job.

Yes, I think Lauren’s everyday designs apart from his Team USA collection really show off an Americana look. It doesn't get any more American than a Polo, jeans, a plaid button-up, or khakis. Even his more runway ready looks have a very American aspect to them. They are tailored, classic, elegant, and dignified, all of which describe the USA. I can find pieces on his website from any of his lines completely unrelated to the Team USA Collection that our Olympians would look wonderful styled in.

I don’t have any problem with Lauren designing for Team USA. I think he’s a great fit. What I would like to see is for him to modernize his designs for the Olympics and bring a bit of an edge from his Black Label and other line, Denim & Supply Co. to the pieces.

At the next Olympics I hope to see Lauren fit Team USA in looks that show the unique and classic elements that are shown in The United State’s ever evolving fashion scene.

Check out Lauren's designs for Team USA during tomorrow's Olympic Opening Ceremony.

What do you think of Lauren's designs?
Let me know in a comment!

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