US Olympic luge veteran Erin Hamlin carries the US flag at the 2018 opening ceremony.Mark Reis via ZUMA Wire
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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:
An athlete from team USA points during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics
Clive Mason/Pool Photo via APThe Nigerian team wore my personal favorite ensemble—crisp, green-and-white blazers.
Athletes of Nigeria enter the stadium during the opening ceremony.
Kyodo via AP ImagesSlovenia’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.
Cross-country skier Vesna Fabjan of Slovenia carries the national flag during the Parade of Nations.
Sharifulin Valery/TASS via ZUMA PressSeveral other teams decided to go green this year. Here’s Bulgaria…
Bulgarian athletes march in the Parade of Nations.
Ulrik Pedersen/CSM via ZUMA Wire…and Jamaica.
Jamaica’s team enters the stadium at the opening ceremony.
Michael Kappeler/DPA via ZUMA PressAustralia’s dark teal snow pants make for a nicely-rounded color scheme.
Snowboarder Scotty James of Australia carries the national flag during the Parade of Nations.
Sharifulin Valery/TASS via ZUMA PressMeanwhile, Kazakhstan came through in a baby blue ombre.
Delegation from Kazakhstan takes part in the Parade of Nations.
Sharifulin Valery/TASS via ZUMA PressNotably 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.
Participants from Russia during the opening ceremony.
Petter Arvidson/Bildbyran via ZUMA PressTonga’s flag-bearer did the most with the least.
Pita Taufatofua from Tonga carries his country’s flag into the stadium at the opening ceremony.
Daniel Karmann/DPA via ZUMA Press