On Friday night, fellow YKYLF staffer Ritchie Po and I decided to take a break from making television costume departments cry to discuss important world affairs–in other words, how the countries represented in the Parade of Nations at the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremonies. We asked the rest of the staff to chime in, since we didn’t feel like doing it all by ourselves.

 

Brazil

Ritchie:  The hosts of the 2016 Summer Games hot it up. Love that they didn’t incorporate every single color into the outfits, but accessorized thoughtfully. The scarves are slightly reminiscent of Slytherin House,and the green jeans on the hot flag-bearer are sending me over the edge.

Bethany:  I want one of those skirts–preferably the yellow one. Super cute!

Annabelle:  See, if Canada had gone with pants or skirts like this, instead of khakis, I wouldn’t be so tempted to change my nationality.


 

Germany

Jen:  “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady the Easter Parade…”

Ritchie:  Ich liebe dich … nicht, Deutschland. 🙁 Boys in blue, girls in pink. No imagination. They look lightweight and sensible for the UK but really it’s a catalogue shot for The North Face or Taiga.

Annabelle:  Easy to tell the women apart from the men, like the little coloured pegs you put in your car in The Game of Life.

The Netherlands

Annabelle:  Luurve the orange coats. This is an outfit they could legit wear in a non-Olympic setting.

Jen:  Big snaps to the Dutch. The pop of orange is a welcome change from all the blue and white.

Bethany:  Agreed, Jen! Loved the orange color pops against the navy–and the bright green some countries added looked great too!  Plus, how adorable are those tulip boutonnieres?

Ritchie:  Excellent piping on the men’s coats. Like that they allowed the women to wear either dresses or trousers. And the woman’s bright-orange coat…AWESOME. I’ve seen the Dutch in person and can confirm they bring it!

Mexico

Ritchie:  I like the ponchos, and mostly because I miss Ugly Betty, but the day-glo barongs (which is actually a Filipino national costume) confuse me. That being said, they had a pinata effect

Bethany:  I’m also confused…coordination must not be one of their strong points.

Jen:  Well, they certainly win for most colorful delegation.
 
Annabelle:  I’m generally anti-poncho, but I give a pass when they’re wearing worn as a genuine cultural outfit.

India

Ritchie:  Well done, India. One of the few nations that incorporated national costumes into the team uniform. Simple, elegant, brilliant. Also, a not-so-subtle homage to Danny Boyle, director of “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Bethany:  Loved the saris. So beautiful and the color was a brilliant choice!

Annabelle:  SO GORGEOUS!

Czech Republic

Annabelle:  Umbrellas and wellies!! Their feet probably got pretty sweaty, though.

Jen:  I thought the props were a cute nod to their host country, but boots and bumpershoots are not very chic.

Ritchie:  The Czechs win worst-dressed. Each individual piece – the matching wellies and brollies, the jackets, the Bermuda shorts – all look good on their own, but put together it’s a disaster. Eastern European summer wear loses again.

Canada

Ritchie:  Considering all that the Hudson’s Bay Company has done with incorporating their stripes into their outfits, the best they could have done was to include cast-offs from previous Olympics paired with Best Buy khakis

Jen:  Those zip-ups make me sad. Way too sportif for such a ceremonial event.

Annabelle:  Canada used to bring the Olympic style hardcore. Maybe they had stylishness overload and got JC Penney’s as a sponsor this year? Sad.
 
Bethany:  It doesn’t even look like they have a consistent look on underneath.
 
Bella:  OMG, totally forgot they were Canada! Thank God they all had it on their hoodies, or I would have been lost. The flag was not a give away, no sir.

   

Great Britain

Jen:  Oh dear. This is what ABBA would wear for a day of boating.

Ritchie:  Is it wrong that I LIKE it? Or are his teeth blinding me?  And weren’t these designed by Stella McCartney?
 
Annabelle:  Who decided to make the pants “Mom jeans capri” length? Is that flattering on any human body?

Bethany:  Gold lame? Maybe the Brits are trying for color-coordination with their medals?
 
Bella:  We’re sexy and we know it.

United States

Ritchie:  Dear America, I’m overlooking the made-in-China non-controversy, but I’m puzzled why you stole the berets from the French team. Nevertheless, Ralph Lauren once again pulls out a beautiful timeless look for you guys.

Jen:  Yes, minus the berets and the controversy, these were very nice outfits. I don’t care for socks and tennies with skirts, though.

Annabelle:  For real, this is the US team? Don’t they usually come out in like, Lululemons and hoodies? Why are they dressed like Girl Guides in the 1940s?
  
Bethany:  I liked the tailored aspect, but seeing LeBron James in that beret was kind of surreal.

Palau

And our Best Dressed of the Opening Ceremony goes to. . .

Benjamin Franklin!

No joke, any flag-bearer that dons colonial garb gets an A+ in our book.