Fashion Week kicked off in New York City on Thursday, but nearly 7,000 miles away in Pyeongchang, almost 3,000 Olympic athletes from 92 countries were preparing for a fashion show of their own. Cue the 2018 Olympics Parade of Nations, a highlight of the opening ceremonies in which athletes marched wearing international couture, their countries’ respective flags held high.
Replete with a rainbow of puffy parkas, the South Korean stadium became a personal runway for the Olympians. Some outfits screamed fashion, while others elicited storms of online snark. We’ve brought you the good, the bad, and the body-oiled below.
The American team stepped out in uniforms designed by Ralph Lauren, whose brand is famous for its all-American aesthetic. Although the team’s opening ceremony outfits were unveiled in January, social media exploded with commentary on Friday, when the athletes took to the stadium.
Introducing the #TeamUSA Opening Ceremony uniforms for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, unveiled this morning on the@TODAYshow. pic.twitter.com/bYlQAaPOHf
— Ralph Lauren (@RalphLauren) January 22, 2018
Twitter users compared the athletes’ workman-style gloves to looks from Dumb and Dumber, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, and falconers.
Who wore it better? These #TeamUSA gloves look like falcon handlers’ #WinterOlympics #PyeongChang2018 pic.twitter.com/6dFD8ZWfAb
— Julian Glover (@JulianGloverTV) February 9, 2018
David Lauren, chief innovation officer for Ralph Lauren, said the design combines “fashion and function” that also “celebrates the American spirit.”
These guys seemed to enjoy them:
The Nigerian team wore my personal favorite ensemble—crisp, green-and-white blazers.
Slovenia’s team was decked out nearly head-to-toe in a shade that calls to mind bright lime highlighters. Their athletic ensembles were designed by Chinese sportswear company PEAK, which also created the uniforms for Teams Brazil, New Zealand, Iceland, Ukraine, and Romania.
Several other teams decided to go green this year. Here’s Bulgaria…
Australia’s dark teal snow pants make for a nicely-rounded color scheme.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan came through in a baby blue ombre.
Notably absent of color were the outfits of the Olympic Athletes of Russia—not to be confused with the Russian team, which was barred from the Games by the International Olympic Committee in December. Instead, they wore “neutral” uniforms designed by Anastasia Zadorina, who launched her ZA Sport line in 2012.
Tonga’s flag-bearer did the most with the least.