Look, fashion and athletics make strange bedfellows. From time to time, people make the claim that models are athletes because their work might sometimes require stamina or physical skill — but calling them athletes is a total stretch. Athletes aspire to be strong and fast and push their bodies to their physical limits. Citizens of the fashion world want to look as good as possible, whatever "looking good" might mean that season. Athletes sweat as a matter of course, but when a model sweats its either because her antiperspirant backfired or a stylist wanted to make an aesthetic point. For athletes, the body is a tool; for fashion people, it's a canvas.
Still, since both enterprises are so attached to physicality and bodies, it's not actually so surprising that the fashion world and the sports world have been colliding so much in the run-up to the Olympic games. Here in the US, Ralph Lauren's opening ceremony uniforms for the US team have caused a stir for being a) as some argue, ugly b) made in China.
Since Ralph Lauren's apologized (for the manufacturing-in-China issue, not the ugly thing), we can move on to the other major fashion x Olympics news. Here it is: Britain tapped some of its most famous and recognizable models to perform for the closing cermonies. Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Georgia May Jagger, Stella Tennant, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Lily Cole will walk in a fashion show designed by the wonderful Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton for the games' closing number. All participants will be paid an honorary £1. The show will surely be a treat, but it'll also be a major PR coup for the British fashion industry. While Americans squabble about sending jobs overseas and our dependence on foreign goods, the Brits will get a chance to spotlight their twenty-plus billion dollar a year luxury sector.
Image via IMAXtree