Friday, February 14, 2014

The Competitive Fashions of Curling

I was planning on writing a hard-hitting piece on curling fashion here, but then it hit me: In comparison to the Norwegians, all the other curling teams look like they are going grocery shopping on a Sunday morning.


United States
I know that I am always pushing for more red in our national attire, but blaaaaaaaaaah. They even look bored WEARING this.


Germany
Seriously. Stopping at the store on the way home from the country club.


Canada
Ok, we're getting a little better. Some graphic interest. I would expect at least as much from a curling nation such as Canada.


Russia
Longtime readers will recall that I was a big fan of this Russian print that was also used during the 2012 London Olympics. Still a fan, and I appreciate that they are learning from the Norwegians.

AND NOW THE HOLY GRAIL OF CURLING FASHION

Norway





Even our buddies Matt Lauer and Al Roker over at the Today Show got in on the Norwegian curling fashion fun:

That Time Visa Convinced Me Ski Jumping Was My New Favorite Sport

I admit to often being a slave to marketing. Generally this takes the form of buying any mascara that claims to make my lashes look big and fake. This week it took the more cost-effective route of inspiring a fascination of and love affair with ski jumping.

Here's the Visa commercial:


First of all, how fitting that during these Games being held in Russia my new favorite sport would evoke memories of Rocky and Bullwinkle, or rather, Moose and Squirrel:


It's really no surprise that I am so taken with ski jumping. Flying is awesome, and they do it in spandex. There is nothing not to love here. Let's take a look at some of the best and worst in ski jumping fashion, shall we?


Peter Prevc, SLO
My favorite suit by far comes all the way from Slovenia. This is absolutely Tron-tastic. The stark white against the dark black... Thrilling. And the contrasting arm is a special touch unmatched by any other nation. While I have found that ski jumping suits tend to be solid in color, this is an appreciated pop of excitement.


Daniela Iraschko-Stolz, AUT
Women's ski jumping is an Olympic first in Sochi, and I hope that this suit from Austria is not an Olympic last. This highlighter yellow number glowed magnificently against the white snow. With so many people all over the Olympic Village, you're sure not to miss Daniela or any other Austrian ski jumper.


Noriaki Kasai, JPN
So much love for this high flying race car-inspired number from Japan.


Lindsey Van, USA
The USA is so hit or miss sometimes. While I dig this pleather-like look in front, that cobalt blue is really the standout of this piece. Note for next time: invert those colors. A snazzier helmet would have scored additional points as well.


Maciej Kot, Kamil Stoch, and Jan Ziobro, POL
I guess I'm just confused as to why three Polish dudes have drastically different attire? Perhaps these suits are all personal fashion decisions? This could explain why very few overall have little, if any, nods to national color schemes.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Johnny Weir is the Biggest Fashion News Out of Sochi

I have mentioned before the difficulty I have with other news outlets living inside my brain. Being a one spandex-clad woman blogging operation, sometimes I don't get things in writing as quickly as I am thinking them. Thus, many have beaten me to the "Johnny Weir Sochi fashion" punch.

JDub is truly owning the Olympics. His commentary never fails to amuse (on Canadian ice dancer Tessa Virtue's dress he said Sunday, "I love that she's wearing a costume inspired by Russian royalty, and a little bit of Faberge"), and his outfits have been OFF THE CHARTS AMAZING.

Your first course of action at this point should be to immediately follow him on the 'gram. He's been posting semi-daily fashion selfies. Your welcome.




And if you need more, here is a round-up of suggested reading on JDub's 2014 Olympic wear:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Olympics Day 0 Brings 1000 Things to Discuss

I have to admit that I'm confused by Day 0 of the Olympics. When people ask me why competition starts prior to the Opening Ceremonies I respond confidently that there is just too much to fit in. People tend to believe me because I have positioned myself as an expert on most things Olympic, but I'm pretty sure I made that up. Regardless, we got an extra day of spandex and I am here to break it all down for you.

Figure Skating Team Event: Men's and Pairs

Unapologetic chest exposure, and fancy couples costumes

Figure skating is truly the golden sport when it comes to wintertime Olympic spandex. With the introduction of the team event, there are even MORE outfits to be worn, and this fills our cold, judgmental heart with pure joy.

We've much to discuss, so let's not waste any more time. A trend among the men's skaters last night was a blatant open chest. Is it a sweat issue? I imagine that this would come into play to some extent, and I guess the women do tend to wear significantly less... Thoughts to ponder.


Yevgeny Plushenko, RUS
As previously mentioned, four-time Olympian Yevgeny Plushenko (the internet cannot decide how to spell his name - we have also seen Evgeni, and some assorted spellings of his last name, but plan to stick with the above spelling because it makes pronunciation sense) was instrumental in bringing Russia into first place in the team event.  I'm so concerned about this outfit, though. Was he attacked by a giant, Russian bear?! Is he planning a Janet Jackson-esque wardrobe malfunction?! And most importantly, why can I still see your chest hair? These pressing questions aside, the outfit worked (thought that bit of white on the tips of the arms feels unnecessary). I particularly appreciate the use of rhinestones and general glitter.


Yakov Gordorozha, UKR
I don't mean to make sweeping generalizations here, but is chest exposure an Eastern European thing? This look feels reminiscent of one of Johnny Weir's 2010 outfits, but with more chest. I don't hate it, I'm just saying I've seen it before.


Yan Han, CHN
Was his outfit commissioned to the same folks building the hotels in Sochi and why it is possibly unfinished? I am legitimately concerned about an Olympic nip-slip because there seems to be little or no lining under that sheer black piece. That said, what is missing from this photo and evident in others is the intricate rhinestone work, particularly around the neck. We'll hand it to you, Han - this is a good looking outfit.


Patrick Chan, CAN
I mean, all I can do is look straight down his shirt. I also hope that for the actual men's competition he has something more exciting to bring to the table. Or, ice. I'm bored.


Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar, RUS
Holy Cinderella! Am I in a hybrid Disney and Olympic dream?! I really love this, but I admit I was disappointed that their choice of music was less than fairy tale-like.


Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek, ITA
Belle, since when are you shacking up with a taxi driver? This Italian pairs team has continued somewhat with the Disney on Ice theme, but then something got lost...


Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, USA
I imagine this to be the most fabulous of jazz numbers. I went out last night, though, so I haven't caught up on all the action. But THIS is how black should be worn.


Maylin Wende and Daniel Wende, GER
You would not expect something this lovely out of Germany after seeing their Opening Ceremonies hodgepodge of fashions. But the detail on that dress is exquisite and she looks like a true ice queen (but like, in a positive way - not that she's cold and mean). This might just be that I deal in font colors all day, but I don't think his shirt matches. I'm probably the only one who noticed, though...


Julia Lavrentieva and Yuri Rudyk, UKR
THIS IS HOW YOU DO CUT OUTS! I have zero clues what is happening in this photo, or how this black goes with this neon green, but I am all about it and want to wear it out this weekend.

For more pics from last night's Team Figure Skating events, check out USA Today Sports. That's all for now, as I need to get ready for our Opening Ceremonies BASH tonight. I admit that I have already live streamed some of the show, and it is INSANE. You can certainly find clips all over the internet, but hopefully you have a party nearly as amazing as ours to attend.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I Need to Remind the Internet That This Happened

With Yevgeny Plushenko taking Russia into the lead in today's Team Figure Skating events, I just want to remind the internet, and everyone, of this:


Those hips, that muscle tank, and then he takes his pants off...  I'm keeping an eye out for this one in Sochi.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Suggested Viewing for the Next 6 Days

To get you in that Olympic spirit, here are some films you might consider watching:


Cool Runnings: One of my all-time favorite movies and the best (maybe only) big screen bobsledding around.  Based on the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team trying to make it to the winter Olympics.


Miracle: Miracle tells the true story of Herb Brooks (Russell), the player-turned-coach who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory over the seemingly invincible Russian squad.


The Cutting Edge: She's a rich and refined pairs figure skater whose prima donna attitude has her skating solo. He's a brash, blue-collar hockey champion with a new injury and no future. With nothing in common but their dream of reaching the Olympics, Kate and Doug are each other's last resort. Reluctantly, they join forces, but its not long before the barbs – and sparks – start flying as the unlikely pair skate towards the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance at a medal...and a chance at love.

Be sure to catch all the Cutting Edge sequels as well: Going for the Gold, Chasing the Dream, and Fire & Ice.

Gearing up for Sochi

Hello fair readers!  I hope you haven't missed me too much.  If you have, you're in luck.  There is only one week until the Olympics!


I know, I feel the same way.  We have a lot of ground to cover.  Let me give you a quick agenda for this meeting.  First I'll tell you why we can go ahead and cancel the Olympics now.  IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK!  Then we'll spend some time going over Team USA's Olympic gear (#barf).  We'll give a little time to fashion highlights from other competing nations, and finally we'll go through the schedule and pick out some spandex highlights for you.

Ready?

Why We Can Go Ahead and Cancel the Olympics Now




He already won.  Though not technically a prince, the alpine skiier, six time Olympian, and sole representative of Mexico will be sporting this mariachi-themed spandex suit on the slopes.  I mean seriously, stop EVERYTHING.  Everyone else can go home.

Why, Ralph Lauren, why?


Screenshot from RalphLauren.com

I'm honestly not sure how RL scored this gig after those hot messes they produced for Team USA in London.  They must have finagled their way into some sweet, multi-year contract before showing anyone any sketches of their plans.

I admit that I hate this LESS than I hated the London atrocities.  The pants are not bad (though I will point out that it is after Labor Day, not to mention white pants aren't for everyone), and the boots are whatever (edit: upon further inspection up close at RalphLauren.com, these boots are ugly as sin).  I'm not even entirely offended by that stupid hat - function over fashion.  Fine.  BUT THAT FREAKING CARDIGAN.  Did America barf in a knits factory?!  I don't even know where to look.  I'm having serious overstimulation issues.  Also, how warm is that going to keep you?  I know it's only like 52 degrees in Sochi right now and for much of America that would currently feel like summer, but we can't have our athletes catching a cold before the biggest sporting nights of their lives!  The Jewish mother in me highly disapproves.

If it's even possible, there is something that I find even more revolting than this sorry excuse for a cardigan: the pricing of all these items and related accessories.  Fingerless gloves, as in GLOVES THAT DO NOT EVEN HAVE FINGERS, are going for $98.  Say what?!  Unless those gloves are knit with the mane of a unicorn, I can't understand why they cost so much.  Luckily I picked up my choice Sochi gear from the NBC Experience Store.

Global Olympic Fashion Highlights


Now that we have accepted the fact that, once again, American athletes are going to look like total tools in the Parade of Nations, let's take a brief moment to reflect on some other national attire:


Great Britain: Hosts of the last Olympic games, the Brits are sticking with Adidas, who did them well in 2012.  Simple, chic, also in our national color palate...  Maybe no one will notice if we throw some of this stuff on?


The Netherlands: At first I thought this was one of the houses from Harry Potter.  While I give them points for style, I subtract points for weather and occasion appropriateness.  The Dutch will be super ready for a job interview, but fully unprepared should the weather drop below 50 (and even that is pushing it).


Sweden: I'm not nearly blonde enough to be Swedish, but I would happily wear any piece from this H&M-designed collection.  Bravo!


France: A PUFFY JACKET DESIGNED AS A BLAZER?!?!?!  Absolute genius.  This kit by Lacoste deserves a gold medal.  Also, how do the French manage to look so not tool-like in hats?


Germany: Um, hi, WTF?!  I didn't find a designer listed for this get up, and it is probably because they are somewhere hiding in shame.  The left hand was clearly not communicating with the right hand, as they created pieces from different lines.  Both lines may have been drug-induced.


Russia: So many mixed emotions for our host nation.  I believe the Santa-inspired outfits on the left are for the Opening Ceremonies.  I could certainly see this adorning a Russian doll in It's a Small World, but it also feels like overkill.  There are some folks just right of center who look like they came from Hogwarts - I can't wait to see what this outfit is for.  Nice puff coats, though!

For more Opening Ceremonies fashion, check out the rest of this slideshow from FoxSports.com.

Spandex Highlights


There are some obvious sports to look out for when it comes to Olympic spandex: figure skating of all kinds and the sliding sports (luge, skeleton, bobsled).  But don't forget speed skating and short track, most of the skiing events (cross-country, ski jumping, and nordic combined), and, of course, biathlon.  Really the only sports that DON'T involve spandex in the winter games are snowboarding, hockey, and freestyle skiing (but it's ok if you watch those, too).  See when each will air in your area.

We're excited to be back in the Olympic fashion game, so hopefully you'll stick with us over the next two weeks while we determine the best and the worst of the Sochi games.