The Olympic Games are arguably one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world, attracting a huge audience and encouraging fashion-forward competition. Now in its fifth summer incarnation, the winter sport of ski jumping is set to make its debut at the Tokyo Olympics in July — and with it, a range of unique snowboard and ski outfits, some of which will be on display during the Games.
Designer Robert Pattinson is one of the celebrities set to feature at this year’s Olympics, and is closely linked to London fashion week, where he will showcase his womenswear collection for Hedi Slimane. Ahead of the Games, we take a look at what to expect of Pattinson’s collection, and how to dress for the occasion.
Robert Pattinson’s Skiing Background
Born in Britain and raised in New Zealand, fashion designer Robert Pattinson started his career in ski apparel and equipment. After working for different brands in Europe, he set up his own company in London, focusing on creating ski and snowboard gear for men. But it was not until he met Hedi Slimane, the founder and creative director of house lingerie and swimwear brand Duro Olowu, that he really made his name in the industry.
Together, they formed a close business partnership, with Slimane taking the reins as designer and Pattinson focusing on product development. It was under this auspice that the ski jump design was first presented in 2020, at the Paris fashion week. The collection was inspired by the Japanese art of bunting, where participants will use their ski gear and clothing to create colorful scenes on the slopes. It is the first time the Tokyo Olympics have featured a winter sport other than skiing, making the experience as close to a real-life game of Pokémon Go as imaginable.
What Will Be On Display At The Tokyo Olympics?
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will see skiing, including ski-in/ski-out accommodation, integrated into the urban environment of the Japanese capital. As well as the newly introduced sport of ski jumping, the games will feature alpine and extreme skiing as well as snowboarding. The range of outfits worn by the competitors will reflect the versatility of the winter sport, with a mixture of classic ski chic and contemporary style.
That said, the Japanese fashion scene is largely dominated by the styles and fashions of the country’s traditional folk costumes, with the country being dubbed the “King of Cutes” due to its abundance of doll-like women. The majority of female participants in Japanese competitions usually opt for more traditional outfits such as kimonos and Japanese aprons, with many male competitors sporting stylish, traditional daggers and samurai swords.
Key Facts About This Year’s Olympics
Tokyo will be the fifth summer Olympics to take place in Japan, with the first four having been hosted in Nara (1924), Sapporo (1928, 1952, 2004), and Tohoku (if the northern islands of Honshu and Hokkaido are included), in particular. The 1932 and 1936 games were canceled due to the Great Depression and WWII, respectively. In 2020, Tokyo will mark the 100th anniversary of the country’s first Olympic Games.
The city is expecting to welcome over 500,000 visitors, with around 300,000 of those people set to participate in the summer games, including athletes, coaches, and officials. Around 30,000 of these will be competing in the Tokyo Olympics for gold, with the rest mostly watching and participating in supporting activities.
What Is The Role Of Dressing For The Occasion?
As a designer, Pattinson always looks to translate a range of designs and styles into wearable clothing, with the Olympics providing an ideal opportunity to do so. Having worked together for many years, Slimane will know what silhouettes and fabrics best suit Pattinson’s designs and what elements of the Japanese fashion scene he should use to inspire his menswear collection.
Similarly, while many will be competing in traditional Japanese costumes, the games are also a chance to showcase contemporary styles. With a wide range of winter sports on offer, it would be a shame to hide your favorite winter fashion trend from the world, even if it is just for a few days.
Pattinson has previously designed outfits for different occasions and special events, including the 2021 Rugby World Cup in Japan and the Grand Prix de Ski in Val d’Isère, having previously designed the outfits for the England cricket team. With the latter being Val d’Isère’s biggest annual event, this will provide the designer with ample opportunity to showcase his designs.
While many of the competitors will be looking to adopt a classic skiing look for the occasion, their coaches and officials will have other ideas. Having worked together for many years, coach and director Yuki Nomura and his team will have their own outfits planned for the games, with many looking to emulate his colorful ski attire. He is known for his distinctive use of neon colors in his outfits, having previously coached the Japan women’s ski team and led them to victory at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Similar to Nomura, British ski coach David Coulthard will also be looking to emulate the look of a successful skier, referring to himself as the “face” of the British Olympic ski team. Having worked with the athletes during their training sessions, he will look to bring a touch of individuality to their outfits, as well as that of the coaches and officials around them.
What are your thoughts on this year’s Olympics? Will you be dressing for the occasion or keeping things simple? Let us know in the comments below.