Fashion At The Olympics By Martina O'Boyle

Keeping warm but staying stylish, athletes from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, the U.S, France and Russia will be increasing fashion competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi….

Team France

Team France

Lacoste has signed a deal as the official Olympic outfitter for the French teams through the upcoming Sochi games, and through the Summer Games in Rio 2016. Embodying French “chic and elegance,” the athletes will each sport a special ceremonial outfit, an official outfit and two relaxed looks for the Olympic Village.

The entire Italian contingent will wear Armani, after the label signed a two-year deal with the Italian National Olympic Committee (which also takes their partnership through Rio). This is not the first time Armani has styled Italian athletes – the Milan-based house provided tracksuits and formal wear for some of the athletes at the London 2012 Olympics, while the Italian sailing team wore special designs by Prada.

Team USA

Team USA

All-American fashion label Ralph Lauren will return to dress the representatives of the United States Olympic Team. The athletes will attend the ceremony wearing the classic colours of red, white and blue, with a Nordic-style knit polo-neck sweater underneath a navy peacoat, with cream slim-fit fleece athletic pants.

Team GB – keeping things on the traditional side of British – will wear designs by Chelsea’s Oliver Brown. The London outfitter, which has a long tradition with sport and is the only trader inside the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot, will kit British athletes out in more than 1,100 items, including bespoke jackets featuring the team logo on the outside pocket and a Union Flag on the inner pocket. This marks a departure from the sleek London 2012 apparel designed by Stella McCartney.

But just in case the British, American, French and Italian greys, blues and reds start to meld, Germany is sending athletes to the opening ceremonies in bright, rainbow-coloured duffel coats and orange flowered trousers by designer Willy Bogner.

Team Germany

Team Germany

The host country always enters the arena last, but the Russian Federation will be worth waiting for, looking sharp in subdued black and burgundy velvet blazers emblazoned with a Russian crest. For competition, the athletes will have tracksuits and hats adorned with a large red “RU,” all provided by Bosco Sport, a division of Mikhail Kusnirovich’s Bosco di Ciliegi group.