NEW YORK (AP) — Let the fashion policing begin.
The Olympics in Tokyo open Friday, when the world’s athletes will march behind their flag-bearers. And when they do, the peanut gallery on what they’re wearing will be open, too.
Olympic gear makes for lively social media fodder, starting with the hours-long Parade of Nations. The year-long wait due to the pandemic has given enthusiasts extra time to ponder what they love or hate.
There’s the Czech Republic and its traditional indigo block-print design with matching fans, already the butt of some jokes. It follows the country’s loud umbrellas and neon-blue Wellington boots of 2012 in London, along with its “Beetlejuice” stripes in Rio in 2016.
Israel’s athletes have see-through nylon jacketswith huge pockets, while Emporio Armani decked out Italy’s team in track suitswith a reinterpretation of Japan’s rising sun in the colors of the Italian flag: red, green and white. Liberia received the gift of designer Telfar Clemens,the buzzy Liberian American who makes sought-after bags and created their kits for the first time.
Things used to be a lot simpler for the athletes, fashion wise. In the beginning, there was no parade, or opening ceremony for that matter. Athletes wore whatever they chose, often walking with the equipment of their sports.
“In the early days it was no big deal,” said David Wallechinksy, executive board member and past president of the International Society of Olympic…