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By Joe Kucharski - February 6, 2014
The Olympic Opening Ceremony has grown in scope and spectacle each year as host countries try to one-up each other. The festivities culminate in the Parade of Nations, where each country’s participating athletes march into the stadium, waving their flag and representing the presence of their home country at the games. This has become an exciting opportunity for each nation to make a statement through clothing, often relying on big name fashion brands to set the vision. Here we feature some of the best and worst looks as we anxiously await their arrival on the world’s stage!
Australia. Great use of greens and a pop of yellow.
(This photo shows their Opening Ceremony look, competition uniforms, and a formal outfit. A mix of designers.)
Azerbaijan. Stylish use of national colors as contrasting details. Designed by Italian brand Larusmiani.
Czech Republic. The fur hats seem like a smart decision in the cold, but it's those goofy smiles they wear best. Designer unknow.
Estonia. Their Opening Ceremony look also features a puffer jacket, but it obscures the excellent graphic pattern and silhouette of these sweaters! Designed by Monton.
France. No suprise that the French look sophisticated and luxurious without excessive ornamentation. Designed by LaCoste.
Germany. Many are praising the Germans for making a rainbow statement about Russia's stance on gay rights. However overt the message, it's a playfully fun looking bunch. Designed by Bogger.
Japan. Looks a bit like a boarder school uniform, but the cut and fabrics are tasteful and crisp. Designed by Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores.
Latvia. The color palette and pattern are quite lovely, but the shape on the female outwear resembles a breastfeeding modesty shawl. Designed by Natalija Jansone and Gvido Zalitis.
Netherlands. Stylish, sophisticated, and a bit sexy. The Netherland's Opening Ceremony looks are the most runway ready of the pack. Great use of orange and blue in a signature plaid that repeats in each look. Though, I imagine we will see some changes to the amount of exposed skin on the female athletes depending on weather. Designed by Suitsupply.
(The Netherlands' was my pick for best dressed of the Parade of Nations at the last Olympic games. And they look poised to take that title again!)
Norway. Minimalist layering of blues, with textured wool and velvet- Norway's look is classic yet modern. Designed by Mood.
Switzerland. It was unclear which look they will wear for the Parade of Nations, their American frat-boy outfit, or their 1980s discotheque costume. I was unable to find a designer willing to put their name on either.
United States of America. While these sweaters set off a firestorm of criticism for the garish patchwork patern, they do have an eye-catching quality and make expert use of iconic American symbols and construction techniques. My bigger complaint are the tacky sweatpants. Of note, this time around, is that designer Ralph Lauren actually sourced American materials and built them stateside.
Check out the Sochi Olympic Ceremony to enjoy a display of exciting theatrics and the range of clothing in the Parade of Nations.