London 2012 Parade of Nations: A frantic fashion review

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This is what I wrote during last night’s Parade of Nations. Colombia and possibly some other countries were ignored by the US TV coverage. I paused occasionally but couldn’t pause for long because the DVR only saves 30 minutes of HD programming. I don’t know the names of things and didn’t have time to look them up.

Pictures of some of the most interesting outfits are attached at the end.

* * *

Greece: vivacious, relaxed striped shirts, open collar, blazers

Afghanistan: sharp suits, shiny blue ties with crowns

Albania: Ugly red jackets, white open-collar shirts

Algeria: crisp track suits, white top, green pants

American Samoa: Garb from a Bugs Bunny cartoon, tropical shirts, all brown, fang necklaces

Andorra: red polo shirts, black … hoodies? Surprisingly slovenly

Angola: gingham dirndls

Antigua and Barbuda: Very sharp black suits, yellow shirts, some have ties some don’t

Argentina: ugly blue tracksuits with circa-1990 Umbro pattern

Armenia: look like they’re going to perform a Jewish wedding ceremony or something. Shawls? Linen pants?

Aruba: Lou Bega

Australia: hunter green blazers. Women have nice silk neckerchiefs.

Austria: ugly four-button blazer/jackets. ugly patches. face paint another negative

Azerbaijan: Stewardesses

Bahamas: I don’t like the light blue-white combination but it’s their flag colors. More scruffy blazers. Mostly-female team – runners?

Bahrain – everyone’s red/yellow robe looks different. too busy

Bangladesh: Love these ones. Grey blazers, charcoal pants, green ties. Only one woman? Red dress and grey blazer, a bit odd

Barbados: same shirts as Antigua, same blazers as Azerbaijan, Dockers

Belarus, extreme flag-color fixation with red shirt, green tie, but then entirely covered by white suit and pimp hat

In 2011 Denisse van Lamoen was voted “Chile’s Athlete of the Year” after winning at the 2011 World Archery Championships.

Belgium: Women have red blazers, men have red vests and black suits, look very wealthy, great.

Belize: Carnival barkers. Women in … bonnets? Ribbon looks like ribbon candy

Benin: opposite color scheme to Bahamas. Light blue good color for headwraps

Bermuda: red shorts? high black socks? Stewardesses x10

Bhutan: Giant cuffs, multiple silk outfits, not sure what to think

Bolivia: subtle shirt stripes, yellow ties not tied tight enough, Dockers, blah

Bosnia: Navy suits. Random businessmen. Flag waver is a doof

Botswana: I like the Montsho white suit. Men more sharp businessmen. Black suits, blue tie, flag colors good

Brazil: Those scarfs look stupid. Is that Mourinho? Some with green skirts, some yellow

B.V.I. tan suits. I like the green scarfs.

Brunei: Nice hijab and grey ensemble. Men look generic.

Bulgaria: No flag colors at all. Ecru blazers, berets. Can’t tell if solid color or stripes. Cabanawear

Burkina faso: A little on the nose. Red/yellow/green AND too baggy. Sneakers? Nice straw hats

Burundi: Went ALL OUT with robes. And walking sticks. Fabulous

Cambodia: Tan blazers, navy pants? You’re backwards.

Cameroon: Beuatiful embroiderd Robes that make everyone look 250 pounds. Beautiful and complicated hats

Canada: CANADA windbreakers. White shirt, red tie. Pants too thin. Sikh guy

Cape Verde: Windbreakers, seemingly no uniform under windbreakers. Blah Nice flag

Caymans: nice straw hats. green tie. more carnival blazers with huge lapels. green cuffs very nice touch

C.A.R.: ties with woolen jackets? Weird.

Chad: Same shirts and ties as C.A.R., with actual jackets this time. Still not great

Chile: red and blue striped ties? nothing special. Why don’t they all wear the archery lady’s hat?

China: white Dockers, red blazers, gold trim a nice touch

Comors: Those hats are weird. I like the baggy pants because they match the shirt

Congo: Average businesspeople. Nice blue/blue/white ties I guess

Cook Islands: Wow Hawaiian stereotype galore, green color scheme

Costa Rica: hat, jackets, pants three different shades of beige. Interesting look

Cote d’Ivoire: These robes are promising. Didn’t see details.

Croatia: Wow lots of people! Way too relaxed, tracksuits, I see midriff

Cuba: Love the ties. Shirts oddly small collar. Yellow blazers not so nice, look like NFL commentators

Cyprus: By far the nicest windbreakers so far. Is orange a Cyprus color?

Czech: Blazers and shorts? Women look like they’re going from work to Zumba class. What are those, umbrellas? Galoshes? Covered with sparkles? WTF

DPRK: Look like poor but studious boarding-schoolers. ties and scarves askew

Dr. Congo: Yellow polo shirts. First polo shirts of the day.

Denmark: Women wearing 1940s-era blouses? Women look great. Men need to tuck in shirts, blazers too shiny,Dockers too baggy

Djibouti – I love the flag bearer. What is this other women have over her eyes?

Dominica: Men with matching ties and vests, TARTAN. Woman has green poncho reminischent of parrot on flag. GREAT

Dom. Republic : Ribbon on cowboy hat exactly lik eBelize. Men in guayaberas with strange stripes.

Ecuador: Tracksuits, saggy but nice colors, yellow yellow, but look bad next to people in suits

Egypt: Love the grey shirts with same-color-grey-but-black-striped ties. Nice grey hijab. Red scarfs getting too common

El Salvador: Wow. Gradients from white to navy. Certainly ambiious but … They look a bit embarrassed. Who’s the fat guy?

Equatorial Guinea: generic dark suits, red ties

Eritrea: gray suits, nice I guess. Look like something Larry Sanders would wear

Estonia: those shirts are shiny. How is the name attached? ARE those shirts?

Ethiopia: white. no time

Fiji: look like senior citizens, blue bocce ball wear

Finland: Umbro-pattern greyscale shirts – sweatsuit tops? white bottoms. Sneakers, not good

FYROMacedonia, very lightweight garb but long sleeved. Red pants snappy

France: I guess the ties are the shade of blue on the flag but I was surprised somehow. Not interesting. Designed for looking OK in groups?

Gabon – grene scarves look familiar. white cowboy hats nice ribbons

“The wily Bongo”

Gambia: Robes look like rain slickers. Great cuffs / collar

Georgia: Look like Canada but chic. Lot of old guys

Germany: This is a huge mess. Pastels? Same hats as Gabon? Bright blue? PINK? Scarves, blah blah

Ghana – Understated black things with ridiculous gold-lettered scarves ostentatious

Grenada – Good outfits – yellow-green shirts, dark green suits, ties striped, rhythm

Guam – not quite as stereotyped as other Pacific islands

Guatemala – I just don’t like this light blue color. espeically for blazers

Guinea: robes look like somthing someone would actually wear, nice mixed greys

Guinea-Bissau: Like Eq. Guinea but … women are wearing dark gray suits like men, only difference is white pants? Odd decision

Guyana: Red shirts, yellow suits. Yellow is the right shade but This is a bit much. Women inverted.

Haiti: Tracksuits.

Honduras – look sharp, navy jackets and lighter pants. Nothing between HA and HO?

Hong Kong: very pale tan blazers and blue pants. Again, this is backwards. nice straw hats

Hungary: Women unflattering red dresses. Men unflattering rodeo waiter outfits.

Iceland: Flagbearer looks like model. Oh, so does she. So do all the men. monotone blue windbreakers, good I guess. Crisp. team of androids from PROMETHEUS

India: Yellow turbans look like radish sculptures. Nothing else is clear

Indonesia: Nehru jackets are red. Women wearing three layers of leg covering? Like the black fezzers

Iran striped shirts, open collars, grey suits, Ahmadinjad look but striped

Iraq: tracksuits. Surprising! In national colors but look like the’re from Foot Locker

Ireland: that shade of green is always good but the zippered jackets are not.

Israel: What is that guy’s hair – nice shade of blue. More cabanawear. Pants PURE WHITE

Italy: These women’s scarves are the nicest? blue and white stripes. Men TINY ties. Understated

Jamaica – Yellow is too bright. Green is not good for tight pants. Uncordinated. Is that terrycloth? Wow, only team with apantyhose

Japan: same as China? Without the gold trim. I like the big collar points on the women

Jordan: women lovely flowers and/or stripes on robes. No men?

Kazakhstan: They look bizarre. Baseball caps? Blonde women? Jackets like Mubarak with name KAZAKHSTAN repeated. Scarves look actually warm

Kenya – Long red shirts, love the black buttons

Kiribati – outfit is flag. Nice wreaths. VERY nice wreaths.

South korea – whtite fedoras. lanyards obscure details. more white pants, sailor jackets

Kuwait: some in full dishdasha, some in jeans: Do not understand

Kyrgyzstan: Main guy’s hat even worse than Kazakh hat. I want to see fur hats not these polygons

Laos: Most generic-businessmen yet. Few even wearing techy glasses.

Latvia: Can’t go wrong with those colors. Well you can, but they used cream instead of pure white.

Levanon: Red is too orangey. Men and women have NOTHINg in common.

Lesotho: More gradient, this time not all the way to navy. gThey mock the Chinese with their conical hats

Liberia: Hideous

Libya: One guy in a nice suit.

Liechtenstein: are those jeans? Idle rich, blech

Lithuania – birght shirts, big collars, white jackets. Doesn’t quite work. Kevin Kline looks proud to be there.

Luxembourg: more idle rich.

Madagascar: Mulberry colord pants. Sleeves longuitudinal stripes. Straw Hats biggest brims yet. chaos but good

Malawi – like the combo of red and VERY DARK BLUE-GREEN and black suits

Malaysia – Oh god. Tiger-striped hammer pants? Red and white sneakers? Tiger-striped papal miters?

Mali – nice uniform white robe look. Keita great earrings

Malta – open shirts boring

Marshall islands – those wreaths and weird shawls all look like they were bought at Marshall’s

Mauritania – rival Mali in nice robes, this time blue.

Mauritius – those shirts should NOT be tucked in but they are. They should ALL have the four-color scarfs

Mexico – these outfits were all designed by Jorge Campos and made by Oaxacan woodcarvers. Everyone is different MY EYES

Micronesia – tropical shirts but don’t look stupid.

Moldova – exactly my low expectations. Grey shirts look too tight for men, men in dressup clothes and WOMEN ONLY in tracksuits?  How does that make sense

Monaco – Classy rich, not idle, up thwere with Gelbium

Mongolia – only sawflagbearer. He’s a time traveler

Montenegro – HOW ARE THIS MANY? Montegro like 400,000 people, 4,000 are Olympianms. Handball and water polo teams? Look like suede suits. Many buttoned only top button of 3 and look sleepy.

Mozambique – I like these shirts – burgundy. Black pants. Tan jackets. Nice actually.

Myanmar – nice grey suits.

Namibia – nice loose brown outfits. First to be BROWN rather than tan or beige

Nauru –  All I see is 1 big sumo guy

Nepal – women in fake-looking dresses. Men in cool black hats.

Netherlands – Michael Phelps carries the flag. Again these people have too many outfits. Orange is limited but still too much.

New Zealand – those shirts are fabulous. Black with small patterns AND fern thing

Nicaragua:  standard blue suits

Niger: white robes not as big as mali’s, like the orange hats and the green things

Nigeria: These robes are too big. The hats are too big. Like the Celtic knot

Norway: Idle rich. “N” logo looks like baseball team from the 40s

Oman – I LOVE these guys’ headwraps. They look worn! Except the idiot in the baseball cap

Pakistan – second people in vests without jackets. Vests oddly cut straight across the bottom

Still not the most flamboyant Rodman

Palau – these look like corduroys. Flag bearer is wearing Patrick Henry-style wig.

Palestine – nice scarf. Silvery. Peace signs

Papua New Guinea – ED HARDY

Paraguay – more straw hats with ribbons. More white pants. Woman in stewardess red dres

Peru – too baggy

Philippines – Nice shirt pleats

Poland – white blazers and white shirts, women have short blazers, skirts are great. Stirped shirts stereotype red-white obsession

Portugal – SOCCER SCARVES. Light blue shirts, white collars, navy jackets, dockers .. but GREEN BERETS tres schic

Puerto Rico – Lou Bega. Tourist insignia on fedoras

Qatar – dishdashas – women all in black  – oh, that woman is in a Qatar-colored tracksuits

Romania – mustard-yellow balzer? White shirt and white scarf? Something’s missing

Russia – straw hats? Of all the countries to have straw hats. Men have great scarves. Sharapova seems to be the only woman, oh there’s some more. Look like real clothes, except the silly hats

Rwanda – White Shirt buttoned up but no tie or jacket. ASCETIC

St. Lucia – black sneakers?

St. Vincent and Grenadines – same ugly green pants as Jamaica. Tops are unique and go well with flag .

Samoa – flowers in hair.

San Marino – Rich rich rich Blueblue blue

Sao Tome and Principe – Men like Rwarnda, women in nice muumuus

Saudi Arabia – as you’d expect

Senegal – Love the yellow robes. Men’s are loose, women’s are tight. Hmmmm. Woman is waving like The Queen

Serbia – jackets with rounded lapels on women, look bad. Men in sweaters? Or is that just Djovokic. All red and white. Men much better than women

Seychelles – nice cream colors and striped ties

Sierra Leone – not robes! Flowing white crinkly shirts, nice green yokes.

Singapore – terrible except the pastel scarves

Slovakia – Hats of scenesters. Women have striped tracsuit tops, men have non-striped tracksuit tops. Terrible

Slovenia – men in grey suits over blue zip-ups? Women same but green zip-ups? Better than it sounds. no wasted fabric

Satanic Manic Panic in the Pacific Tropics

Solomon Islands – they look embarrassed by those getups. What’s that guy done to his beard?

Somalia – Sky blue looks good for hijabs. Men’s scarves with stars look chintzy.

South Africa – Colors all over the place. Would look good on one person, not a crowd.

Spain – Gasol looks like MCConaughey in that hat. Scarves look great. Women too much yellow, men not enough but great paisley? ties

Sri Lanka – great outfits, stripes on one side but not the other. Muted colors but many colors

Sudan – robes too big. Women in giant napkins, sorry to say it

Suriname – maybe best tracksuits yet. Mostly green. Nice flag crets too

Swaziland – Nothing to say here, suit and tie

Sweden – Back to 1978 for these. Kristy McNichol and Charlene Tilton

Switzerland – red sweatervests, grey suits, men and women are the same but men’s is pullover and women’s is zipper? looks sharp

Syria – Ties too shiny. Ties too big. Suits too polyester. I see a wealthy fatcat

Taiwan – Striped jackets are hard on the eyes en masse, but also look bad with the non-striped pants. Lack of effort, D-minus

Tajikistan – That woman is in a nice silk pattern – Men in crazy blue-green shiny blazers. I just saw that guy for Syria, now he’s Tajik

Tanzania – women have nice flag-based scarves. Men look like elderly businessmen

Thailand – understated and attractive suits. Women in same suits as men but without ties.

Timor-leste – again nice flag scarves. Not much else.

Togo – Those shirts are too much clashing. Baseball cap never good either. THEY ALL HAVE BASEBALL CAPS. White guy in neck brace, what:

Tonga- – Plaid-ish ties are good. Everyone has a DIFFERENT grass-skirt thing. Ties are very good.

Trinidad / Tobago – nice combo of red and black. Women have what look like sashes but are part of the dress, great idea. Men should have ties but don’t, just black shirts

Tunisia – no ties. All unbuttoned in exact Same way. Hijab looks elastic, not great

Turkey – Nice shade of beige, same shade for both jacket and tie – circular badge slapped on  lazily

Turkmenistan – WOW. Velvet jackets. Satin? I forget which is which. Great hats but just for women!8-pointed stars! Blue! Green!

Tuvalu – face paint. Dumb tracksuits. Unique color scheme, blue and orange but not bright.

Uganda – men have off-white shirt things with great collars. Women have matronly robes.

Ukraine – Finally, A Furry Hat! only on flag bearer. Everyone else, barf

UAE – I see no theme here at all. Negative points and more negative points for baseball cap

USA – Nice flag scarves. Berets look good. All have badge right at front of hat, kind of unnerving. Look like prep school ties. Rounded collar points, brass buttons. Nice white skirts

Uruguay – light blue is nice. Hey where are they? USA again, USA USA

Uzbekistan – brown! All wearing same brown outfit. Businessmen

Vanuatu – red, yellow, green, black, blurry

Venezuela – all white. Never good.

Vietnam – cream jackets, dark tan pants. Snappy.

Virgin Islands – US ones? Most rustic straw hats yet. Nice blue summer shirts.

Yemen – that guy looks really wealthy. Jackets too shiny for black jackets.

Zambia – hunter green jackets, light green ties. I guess I always like that.

Zimbabwe – prep school outfits,

Team GB – crinkly gold trim on white outfits? Look like Sgt. Pepper’s Abba band. Pretty ostentatious. Who are those girls in the peasant petticoats? Anticlimax for real

* * *

There are not many photos out there of the costumes. I couldn’t find Madagascar or Malawi or Niger, some of the best African ones.

Anyway, some of the good:

Burundi

Dominica

Denmark

Turkmenistan

Georgia

Trinidad and Tobago

Costa Rica

* * *

the bad:

Ukraine

Togo

Kazakhstan

Czech Republic

Germany

Ecuador

Liberia

* * *

and the weird:

Estonia

El Salvador

Malaysia

Gambia

Cook Islands

Bermuda

* * *

Your thoughts?

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Tombola till I die

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An analysis of shirt sponsors considered as team names

A thought occurs. “Northern Rock”, despite the low opinion Britons now have of said bank, is an impressive, tough name.  This led me to wonder, which clubs’ shirts would look the most impressive to someone from a more innocent world who assumes the giant logo on the front is the name of the team?

Sounds awesome

  • Northern Rock F.C.
    “Northern Rock” isn’t a recognizable company name in the USA. Sounds like “Northern soul” but even cooler.
  • Britannia F.C.
    Hail!
  • Wonga F.C.
    “Wonga” is slang for money, but to me it sounds intriguing and exotic, like a team named after the fantasy land of the group of 12-year-olds that founded it in 1906.
  • Tombola F.C.
    See Wonga, except that I have no clue what “Tombola” is so it works even better. Maybe it’s their location.

Not bad

  • Crown Paints F.C.
    Clearly an industry embedded in the history of whatever town they come from.
  • Chang F.C.
    It doesn’t say “Chang Beer”, which helps.  And obviously their mascot is the elephant.
  • Fly Emirates F.C.
    Just go back to being “Emirates FC” and drop the Wreckx-n-Effect slang. The time for calling things “fly” has come and gone. Or update it to “Tricked-out Emirates FC”.

Understated class

  • Autonomy F.C.
    Autonomy FC stands for self-reliance, hard work, and pride. All their players worked their ways up from poverty in places like Senegal, Argentina and Croatia through not physical supremacy, but…physical supremacy and hard work. Why are fans claiming they can’t relate to the players anymore?
  • Aon F.C.
    The rural hamlet of Eawon punches well above its weight in having a Premier League team. Being named after the ancient druidic form of the town’s name is a great touch.
  • F&C F.C.
    Get rid of the little “Investments” and it can easily be one of those combined clubs packed with uninteresting history. SpVgg Farnborough’s stadium was demolished by termites and they had to merge with local non-rival Torpedo Chiselhurst to form Farn & Chisel.
  • Standard Chartered F.C.
    The default club in every team-manager video game, SCFC in real life are the default club for people who like the sport in theory but don’t want to think about it too hard, leading to massive revenue, and massive purchases of massively famous players, and general public disgust.

Up the Lions!

  • Samsung F.C.
    There’s a Samsung-owned team in Korea, but they’re called the Suwon Bluewings. They use a Samsung logo on their chests [or a Samsung product, as seen here on Croatian stars Jasenko Sabitović and Mato Neretljak]. but their crest/badge has no Samsung content.Skipping to another sport, the Samsung Lions, like other Korean baseball teams, have changed their uniforms recently to downplay the business conglomerate. The Samsung Lions, LG Twins, and Kia Tigers all have small corporate logos above the large team name emblem on their chests. But the Twins and Tigers just have a “T” on their caps, while the S of Samsung is an integral part of the Lions’ cap logo. See this Uni Watch entry for a ton of Korean baseball photos.

I guess they had to sell out — how sad.

  • Etihad Airways F.C.
    There are teams called “Vauxhall Motors” and “Airbus UK Broughton” in addition to various others with things like “Miners” and “Mechanics” in the name. But it’s hard to view “Etihad Airways” as having emerged from a recreational club for Etihad Airways workers.
  • Fx Pro F.C.
    “Acorns” was much better. “LG” was much better too, though as with Samsung it should be an understated LG logo above the name of some fierce but lovable creature.
  • 247 999 F.C.
    The little house logo indicates sponsorship by the Criterion Collection release of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House. The numbers are arbitrary. Every player was supposed to have different numbers in every game which, at the end of the season, you could plug into the Bible Code matrix to get a prophecy of his fate. This was too complex for West Brom’s shirt manufacturers so they just went with the first part of Youssuf Mulumbu’s tragic demise. He’ll be served something deadly…at home. That’s all we are now permitted to know.

Oh, yuck.

  • 188 Bet F.C.
  • Sbobet F.C.
  • Sportingbet F.C.
  • Investec F.C.


Six utterances from the woman in a nearby Panera booth who looked like a younger Trish Suhr

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To her friend:

  • Beauty shop – what’s a beauty shop?  Is it a salon?
  • Leggings are just thick tights.  Whereas jeggings are pant material, with pockets.  I figure if it has pockets, it’s fine.
  • He was like “32 times?  You drove to CVS 32 times?”  And it was like two blocks away.
  • Where are what?  The tickets?  Oh, we don’t print tickets.  We just take reservations.
  • I’m sure there was a free watch somewhere along the line that made up for having to buy all that tissue paper.

Staring at her phone alone, while her friend was in the bathroom:

  • Oh. My. God they got another dog.