DESIGNERS GUN FOR GOLD
With couture labels stitching sportswear, here’s a look at why the 2012 Games are a fashion delight
In 1948, London staged the XIVth Olympics, also known as the Austerity Olympics because of postWorld War II rationing. The sporting headlines were dominated by Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers- Koen, who won four golds in athletics. On the sidelines, though, history of a different kind was being written. The magical meeting between Rosita Jelmini and Ottavio Missoni was then viewed as just another Games romance— she was a shy 16- year- old daughter of an Italian shawl maker; he was a handsome 27- year- old Italian hurdler. They had discovered that in addition to their mutual love of sport, fashion featured high on their lust list. As fashion and love collided, they came together to form brand Missoni.
Several decades later, the love affair between fashion and sport has morphed into a full- blown relationship, complete with whims, tantrums and doublespeak. So if you thought the Olympics was a sporting spectacle that purely played itself out on the track and field, think again. The 2012 London Games showcases fashion like never before. No longer are athletes satisfied with designing their own outfits, as Florence Griffith- Joyner once did to a stunned reception. Today, brands are a must on the tracks. After all, nothing screams patriotism louder than a designer label. Wear your support, and get ready to witness what Giorgio Armani describes as “the most fashionable Games ever”.