Sporting chic

The Swedish team’s (from left) swimmer Sarah Sjostrom, athlete Stephanie Ydstrom, swimmer Simon Sjodin, wheelchair rugby player Tomas Hjert and long jumper Khaddi Sagnia.
The Swedish team’s (from left) swimmer Sarah Sjostrom, athlete Stephanie Ydstrom, swimmer Simon Sjodin, wheelchair rugby player Tomas Hjert and long jumper Khaddi Sagnia. PHOTOS: H&M, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN & SPORTY HENRI, REUTERS
Spanish high jumper Ruth Beitia.
Spanish high jumper Ruth Beitia.
Cuban athletes Lidianny Echeverria Benitez and Javier Cortina Lacerra with Sporty Henri founder Henri Tai (second from left) and Christian Louboutin (third from left).
Cuban athletes Lidianny Echeverria Benitez and Javier Cortina Lacerra with Sporty Henri founder Henri Tai (second from left) and Christian Louboutin (third from left).

The styles and stars to look out for at the Rio Olympics

LONDON • It is about sport, really. Sport, but also national pride, transitory crushes on archers you have never heard of and predicting all the medals each country will win.

Fashion, too, has its place, so with that in mind, here are seven looks, people and sports to look out for at the 2016 Rio Olympics that starts on Aug 5.

1. Canada's Soviet-chic uniform

The Canada uniform was designed by twins Dan and Dean Caten of Canadian brand Dsquared2 who really pushed the envelope with blazers and tees in patriotic red and white in homage to the Canadian flag.

2. Gisele in the flesh

Since Gisele Bundchen is the most iconic Brazilian of all Brazilians, it makes sense that she was chosen to open the Rio Olympics. That, and the predicted record international viewing figures.

Still, it figures. Kate Moss was in the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics hosted by London and people all watched because she is virtually a dodo these days. Plus, given that the "futuristic gateway" at the Maracana Stadium through which Bundchen is meant to walk is apparently not yet finished, this should prove a nice diversion.

3. Swedish athleisure

Sweden is having a field day with its take on the Olympic uniform, which somehow manages to be part "technical fabrics", part "recycled polyester" and yet somehow still cool.

It helps that it has channelled Ivy Park, Beyonce's sportswear line and that yellow and blue are a winning combination in that cheering Roksanda Ilincic way.

4. Miles Chamley-Watson

That fencing is still a serious Olympic activity felt like an anomaly that had slipped through the net. Then along came US fencer Miles Chamley-Watson and, well, this stranger secured 2016 as the summer of people's objectification.

The focus is on the clothes (Hood by Air?), discreet tat and hair - as bleached hair has became a pro-sports look (see Aaron Ramsey and Marouane Fellaini). Fencing, though, is still very weird.

5. Golf chic

"I don't play actual golf," said designer Orla Kiely, referring to her spring/summer 2016 show, which was on a golf course. In fairness, neither did any Olympians until now, with this year being the first time the sport will feature in the Games.

It was hard to extract any true golfing aesthetic from the show - a haze of California, poolside chic in the vein of Slim Aarons, in pinks, oranges and blues - but...

6. Ruth Beitia's knee-high socks

Spanish high jumper Ruth Beitia is the European champion. The knowledge of high jumpers is pretty limited, but we hazard that some of her success is down to her socks - suction-tight, knee-high and very 3.1 Phillip Lim.

7. Cuba's Louboutin connection

French designer Christian Louboutin has designed a range of non-performance uniforms for Cuba's Olympic team in partnership with SportyHenri.com, a French e-concept lifestyle and sportswear store for men.

As an emblem of luck, the five-pointed star from the Cuban national flag is sewn onto the back of each jacket.

The footwear is just as eyecatching: Men have leather high-top trainers or Naza Star slip-on loafers while the women have elegant Naza block-heeled sandals.

GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2016, with the headline 'Sporting chic'. Print Edition | Subscribe