THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

August 13, 2008

Fashion Follows Form

Filed under: Designer,Fabric,Fashion,Technology — phyllisc @ 8:34 pm

TLo over on Project RunGay did a post recently about Ralph Lauren’s design for the US Olympic Team.  Just my opinion here, but how many ways can you spell b-o-r-i-n-g? 


Honestly, those outfits made elite athletes look like trust fund schmoes straight from the Ryder Cup circa 1930.  Ascots?  Striped rep ties?  Blazers?  With that dopey crest on the front?  White golf caps? In 2008? ? 


The true fashion statement of this Olympics is the Speedo LZR Racer, designed with input from Comme des Garcons


This is one stunningly beautiful piece of performance clothing; the fabric is a proprietary textile that actually reduces drag on the swimmers body by minimizing skin vibration and muscle oscillation.  The seams are not sewn but bonded by a micro-laser and the suit also has an inner core stabilzer that supports the body in key areas to help maintin a proper body position in the water.  Just watch the underwater footage of Michael Phelps – no drag, no turbulence, sleek as a shark.  AND its great fashion.



  1. All I can say as an aussie our uniform was not good, all way too casual for me with cargo pants and blousy jacket with no shape………you think we could do casual well

    Comment by Handmaiden — August 13, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

  2. Those US swimsuits suits supposedly take a half hour to get into and are VERY uncomfortable to be sitting in.

    Comment by Susan Claire — August 14, 2008 @ 12:12 am

  3. Those suits are designed for one function, winning, not sitting.

    Comment by grant czerepak — August 14, 2008 @ 12:16 am

  4. I totally loved the Ralph Lauren ensembles. Our athletes looked very sharp and the styles worked well for both men and women and photographed well, but not so well for those who turned or cocked the caps off to the side of their heads. However I was shocked by the Polo insignia and join the hew and cry raised by many who wish it had not been included so prominently on the blazers! Bleh! But I’m a traditional girl.

    However I break with tradition when an improve such as the swimming suits’ technical fabric and construction brings an improvement in performance. Bravo! Now lets see improvement on those goggles….

    Comment by Mary Beth — August 14, 2008 @ 6:00 am

  5. Those swimming outfits are amazing, the swimmers look like sharks! And sharks don’t sit, I think they die if they stop swimming…

    If you are planning to visit London before 4 January 2009, make sure to check out the “Fashion V Sport” exhibition in the Victoria & Albert Museum:

    On display will be around 60 outfits including performance sportswear, work by fashion designers such as Stella McCartney who have designed sportswear ranges, and garments such as the work of Japanese label Visvim which show the influence of sportswear on high fashion. There will also be design drawings, photographs and film to examine how these products are worn, designed, advertised and collected.

    Comment by Houkje — August 14, 2008 @ 6:39 am

  6. I too was just appalled at what our athletes were wearing. Surely they could have taken a cue from the winning garment in the Olympics challenge on Project Runway! At least that had some style….far from the boring outfit chosen.

    Comment by Cindy Cummins — August 14, 2008 @ 7:39 am

  7. My understanding is that the textile design is based on the hydrodynamics of sharks’ skins. It’s very, very cool. It’s also very interesting that many athletes who have endorsements with companies other than Speedo got permission from their sponsors to wear the LZR because it is so superior to any other on the market. There was a great article in the WSJ about it several weeks ago.

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — August 14, 2008 @ 8:43 am

  8. Love the swimsuits. They have been working on that technology for years and it looks like they made great strides with this years suits.

    As for the team uniforms…English Prep School was my first thought.

    Comment by Linda T — August 14, 2008 @ 11:18 am

  9. I too have noticed that ALL the olympic swimmers are wearing that same Speedo, and was about to say what Ann (GT) has already said – the technology behind the fabric is a sharkskin. They’ve found that the texture of sharks skin is the best hydrodynamic fabric out there, and actually does improve against drag in the water.
    As far as the Olympic uniform, I guess I’m with MaryBeth, I don’t mind the traditional suit at all – classier than many alternatives. However, I’m indignant along with many many other Americans at the boldness of the RL logo. Enough already with the logowear.

    Comment by Marji — August 16, 2008 @ 11:21 am

  10. I loved watching the swimmers in the suits They just seemed to glide thru the water. I’m not really convinced that they shave that much time off but it looks good. And I am with the rest of you, I’m tired of all the commercialization. They should have made the team uniforms part of Project Runway…I think some of the ones they did for the challenges were actually better.

    Comment by Sandy — August 25, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

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