All The Best Uniforms At The Rio Opening Ceremonies

It’s almost time for the Rio Opening Ceremonies, and you know what that means – costumes.

Okay, more specifically the Parade of Nations, where the athletes from the participating countries process into the arena wearing some kind of weird modern take on their national dress, like muscly Madame Alexander dolls or a sexy It’s A Small World ride.

I love it.

While a number of countries have released photos of their team uniforms – especially when there’s a high profile sponsor involved – it’s too soon to tell which looks will make the Parade of Nations. Still,here are a few to keep your eye out for:

Great Britain in Stella McCartney/ Adidas

Who’s making redcoats redder? Stella McCartney, I guess. I’m just so thrilled we can finally bring back Britain’s colonial-era nickname. The Adidas uniforms forego the typical Union Jack in favor of a coat of arms combining the thistle, rose, leek and flax, as well as a lion, the national animal of England even though England doesn’t have lions. The fabric is lightweight and there are fun leggings. The female athlete third from the right is not impressed.

I still can’t believe they make Wales be a leek. Pee-ew.

Canada in Hudson’s Bay and D-Squared

 

There are a lot of stereotypes about Canada and one of them is that Canada doesn’t really have cities. That’s why it’s so fun to see Canada go a little urban with their outfits. It’s a real mix-and-match collection combining smart jackets, jaunty track suits and even graphic tees. If I have one complaint it’s that the pants look weirdly saggy at the knee – but just look at what they’re wearing for the Opening Ceremonies:

South Korea

If I were an Olympic athlete, I would proudly compete in a prison jumpsuit or footie pajamas if it was Zika proof. Lucky for South Korea, their uniforms are fairly cute AND Zika-repellant. I like the uniforms to the right, like they’re activity leaders at a nice country club. The slim fit cropped pants are cute.

Here’s where I was going to complain about socks with boat shoes, but ZIKA. Gotta cover those ankles. Good job.

Sweden in H&M

There’s so much to love. First of all, that Sweden is wearing H&M. Second, that a relatively small(-ish) Scandinavian country can be one of the world’s biggest exporters of cool fashion and musicians. Third, these fabrics are sustainably produced and recycled. I love that there’s a fun athletic dress and the leggings and socks are just too good.

Spain

They look great – almost like street clothes but a bit more polished, with sassy scarves and tie clips. The woven belts are excellent too, and the contrasting accents on the blazers and the buttons.

I do wonder why, in a world where red and blue seem to be the most popular national colors, a country that actually has a different color scheme going for it opts for red and blue.

Italy in EA7 by Emporio Armani

Unlike Spain, I can’t even quibble that these aren’t the national colors (except for the bits of red and green on the collar) because the black and white just feels so Italian. The giant 7s are the most conspicuous branding I’ve seen so far on the team uniforms, but it also can kind of just read as some stripes maybe?

Brazil 

Say what you will about Brazil’s preparedness or suitability to host the 2016 games: there is a special place in my heart for a country that will deck men out in florals. Granted, I was even more excited when I thought that the ascot was the lining of his blazer instead.

France in Lacoste

Remember when you wouldn’t see a fashionable, city-dwelling European caught dead in athletic wear in public? The recent trend for sleek, well-designed athleisure clothing has turned that around a bit, and France’s simple and tidy look shows how well it can be done.

USA in Ralph Lauren

Not my favorites, but not horrible; these get points for the sheer American-ness of red-white-and-blue stripes and pushed up sleeves on Oxford shirts.

Australia

The word Slytherin has been thrown around a few times for these uniforms, as has “ice cream lady.” But me? I just hope they make it back to Malibu Sands in time to help Stacey Carosi’s dad out at the big volleyball tournament.

 

Most teams haven’t released photos of their uniforms yet, so tune into the Opening Ceremonies tonight to find out who the REAL best-dressed are.

 

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Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Dance Academy

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G’Day, mates! That’s me addressing you in the same slang they use on Dance Academy. Although now that I think about it, I don’t recall anyone saying that at all throughout the show. Anyways, if you didn’t catch that, this show is from Australia. If you’re in need of a program to watch this summer that isn’t too ‘involved’ like Breaking Bad or The Wire, this is the perfect show for you. As a bonus, each episode is 30 minutes, and there are only 3 seasons (which are all on Netflix Instant), so you don’t even have to worry about catching up before a new season starts!

As I mentioned in a post about my Summer To Do List a few months ago, my friend Ana was pushing me for MONTHS to watch DA, and I finally did. And following my tendency to get obsessed with TV shows, this show followed suit. If you like teen centered programs like Degrassi or loved the great 2000 film Center Stage, you will most likely get just as obsessed with DA as I am, and here’s why.

What It’s About

Dance Academy is mainly narrated by 15-year-old Tara Webster who is a newly accepted first year student at the National Academy of Dance in Sydney. The series follows her and her fellow dancer pals as they deal with teen romance, rivalries and the pressures of being at a highly competitive dance academy. You know, pretty much everyone’s usual upbringing Down Under.

Reasons to Watch

Aussie Aussie Aussie! (Oi! Oi! Oi!)

Most of the show takes place inside the Dance Academy itself, but there’s a lot of scenes that show Sydney and the surrounding areas. I’ve never been to Australia, but it’s always been one of the places on my ‘bucket list’, and watching this show just makes me want to go there more/temporarily fill my Aussie desires. Not to mention, it’s just *cooler* watching a show that’s not American, you know what I mean? I found myself wanting to watch episodes just so I could go back to ‘Sydney’ every night. It’s like when you watch Friday Night Lights and just want to go Dillon, Texas for an hour or two. I mean, I don’t make it a habit of yearning to go to Texas on a daily basis, outside of the context of FNL/Austin.

Coming of Age Storylines

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If you’re a product of the 90s like we are, you grew up with shows like Saved by the Bell, Full House, Boy Meets World, everything on SNICK etc. But you know how there’s a difference between Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World? Saved by the Bell was a Saturday morning show where it was about sleeping over in a mall to get U2 tickets, while Boy Meets world was the TGIF show where Mr. Feeny would teach you a life lesson at the end of every episode. Dance Academy is more of the latter. While I can’t exactly relate to it like I did with SBTB or BMW when I was a tween, I imagine DA has the same effect of kids these days.

The show touches on a lot of different subjects throughout all 65 episodes that normal teens go through. All the kids come from different backgrounds – Tara is a naive girl from the bush (aka what ‘country’ is to us Americans), Sammy’s a Jewish kid whose dad disapproves of his dancing, Abigail, the daughter of a dance teacher, is a perfectionist whose only goal is to make it into the company, Kat comes from a super famous ballet family, and Christian is a troubled kid whose mom died and dad was absent most of his life and is in the Academy basically so he doesn’t get into trouble with the ‘bad crowd’. Together, they tackle themes of friendships, romance, jealousy, revenge, death, divorce, even eating disorders (come on, this IS a show about dancers), and don’t do it in a way that is tacky, insensitive, or too in your face. The fact that DA has won the Australian equivalent of the Emmy for Best Most Outstanding Children’s Program TWICE should say it all.

The Gays

On paper, Dance Academy is a show for teens. It’s only in recent years that we’ve seen more family friendly shows incorporate gay characters, so it’s refreshing to see a show in Australia featuring a fairly prominent storyline that involves a gay (well, at least bi) character in Sammy. Without giving too much away, Sammy is faced with trying to figure out what these feelings he has for boys mean, and if he can be comfortable admitting those feelings to his friends and family. There’s also Ollie, who is not your ‘stereotypical’ gay dancer type, and he addresses his sexuality in such a nonchalant way that I almost  didn’t notice he was coming out when he first talked about it. These two provide public figures that teens and younger kids can see on TV and realize that people don’t have to be reduced down to their sexuality, but that they’re just ‘Sammy’ and ‘Ollie’. Deal with it.

The Dancing, duh

I mean the show IS called Dance Academy, so there better be good dancing, right? What I appreciate about this show is that they clearly picked young people who were dancers first and foremost, then actors. I’ll admit, the acting isn’t Oscar worthy or anything, but you have to hand it to every single one of them for their dancing ability. It was hard to narrow three seasons of dancing into a sample platter for y’all, but I tried my best! PS: I would suggest not clicking on YouTube & just watching the embedded videos in case you’ll accidentally see a major spoiler!!

*Note: the video below is from the final scene of the entire series – it doesn’t give anything away, but JIC you don’t like any type of spoiler like me!*

If you guys watch DA or have watched it before, let me know what you think!!!