June 28, 2012

London Is Where It's At!

With only weeks until the 2012 Summer Olympics, London is in the spotlight as the “IT” city of the summer. As the world prepares for this monumental event, an international curiosity is overwhelming the masses in anticipation for not only the competitions, but the overall theme of both the Opening and Closing ceremonies, the architecture, the entertainment, the uniforms, and the various other events encompassing the city. So what can we really expect from this year's Olympic Games?

photo via The Guardian

Well for starters, a few new details have been released that set the tone for the 2012 milestone. Designed by Artistic Director Danny Boyle, the stadium will replicate a "green and pleasant land," which includes real grass, real soil, and a river that allows athletes to appear as if they are walking on water. Overall, the show will establish an authentic British countryside feel that heavily focuses on the environment, as well as features urban undertones to highlight the importance in the growth of cities throughout the U.K.

As far as entertainment goes, with countless volunteers, a possible appearance by Paul McCartney, some controversial lip syncing, and the likes of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley dressed in London's most renowned designers, what more could we ask for? Well, a London Festival to showcase some of the best nationwide talent of course! From theatre to literature to film, music, dance, and art, London legends such as Cate Blanchett, Jude Law, Damien Hirst, and Yoko Ono, among many others, will participate in a variety of cultural performances and activities during a 12-week celebration that started last week.

photo via fashionmag.com

With so much going on, not only are Olympic fanatics flocking to the U.K. but mid-market shops as well. J.Crew who recently announced their partnership with Hong Kong retailer, Lane Crawford, plans to embrace international markets with a flagship shop in central London. Also, H&M will be opening 2 pop-up shops in both Covent Gardens as well as in Westfield Stratford, next to Olympic Park, featuring sportswear inspired merchandise, as well as a limited edition patriotic colored collection in red, white, and blue. Not to mention, London recently hosted a four day menswear fashion event to showcase both designers new and old and kick-off the collections in Florence, Milan, and Paris.

photo via streamwoman

Foreigners visiting the Olympic Games are expected to stimulate over $7.85 billion into the economy alone this year. While British retailers in the West End shopping district are supposed to get the most sales traffic, you bet this affair has brought out the competition among other international labels as both Gucci's Gucci City and Jimmy Choo's Union Jack Collections reflect Olympic inspired accessories in the form of handbags, scarves, shoes, etc. Even Swatch has transformed a classic London design into a trendy, functional watch inspired by the athletic event.

photo via The Telegraph

So who is wearing who? While Stella McCartney has designed a 590-piece discipline specific collection for Team London, Giorgio Armani will adorn the Italian Team. It has also been announced that Prada will be the official sponsor of the Italian national sailing team's uniforms. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren will help to create costumes for both the Opening and Closing Ceremony parades.

photo via Ecouterre

However, not everyone is feeling the love as Adidas faces serious claims of worker exploitation. According to War on Want, an organization that seeks to fight poverty and preserve human rights, Adidas employs over 775,00 people in 1,200 factories across the globe who are subjected to low wages, poor working conditions and both verbal and physical abuse. The sportswear clothing brand, is being criticized for spending close to $155 million to establish itself as an official partner while its workers barely earn enough to live. Adidas plans to further investigate these allegations as War on Want continues to gather signatures and petition for a "sweat-free Olympics."

photo via Deezeen Magazine

As the London Olympics will soon come and go, what will become of Olympic Park? According to U.K. nonprofits, the area will be transformed into a park that will withstand for about 100 years. A media center expected to house journalists and press during the games will eventually be used as an office building for tech companies to promote local employment. Overall, the designers of the event hope to "bring benefits to locals and ensure the sustainable utilization of the stadiums." To see a slideshow of more of the Olympic architecture, click here!

Please stay tuned for our Berlin Fashion Week round up next month! In the meantime, check out our All American Pinterest board for some inspiration for the upcoming Independence Day!

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