In winning style: Moments of fashion flair from Team GB
Olympians may have been proud to compete in their national colours, but that didn't stop them from adding their own moments of fashionable flair, says Rebecca Gonsalves
The Mane Event
Plaits have been big this Olympics – presumably because they're a convenient way of keeping hair out of the way rather than being inspired by the catwalks of Valentino and Moschino.
In the world outside the Stratford bubble, crazy colours have been a hair trend for a while. Perhaps Uzbekistan's javelin thrower Anastasiya Svechnikova uses pink to maintain her feminine credentials, while Venus Williams' braids combine the best of both worlds in patriotic red, white and blue. Statement hair is not just for women though - GB's Louis Smith's precision on the pommel horse is matched only by his crew cut while Bradley Wiggins' sideburns are medal-worthy.
It all started in 2009 with the opening of hip Dalston salon WAH Nails, but the popularity of nail art has grown exponentially over the last few years and if you've got a medal to show off, what better way to get a bit of patriotism in to the frame at the same time? Plus, if you've got the patience to train your whole life for an event that's over in seconds you've probably got the right disposition to relax in the manicurist's chair for the time it takes to get a paint job. If not, nail wraps have appeared as if from nowhere this year, and the stickers pre-printed with flags, hearts and other designs are easy to apply at home.
Synchronised swimmers slap on the waterproof eyeliner, shadow and lipstick with a fervour only matched by that of their exhausting routines but that's not to say they're the only competitors with a penchant for the panstick. Patriotic face daubing is popular and let's face it Dee Dee Trotter's minimalist tricolour wave is easier to achieve than a miniaturised stars and stripes – especially if you have any pre-race jitters. Female gymnasts have a natural affinity with glitter, perhaps unsurprisingly given the tender age of so many of the participants.
What with Paul's one-pound performance and Stella's job on the Team GB kit, the McCartneys are just as much of an Olympic family as the Brownlee brothers. It's sad, then, that Stella seems to be hanging her head, perhaps because her stepmother appears to be sporting some unofficial team merch. Kate Middleton stuck largely to polo shirts as a spectator but she pulled out all the stops in custom made Christopher Kane for the Opening Ceremony, luckily she was allowed to leave the lanyard at home.
Sunglasses have often been necessary at London 2012 (in England, in the summer – who would've thunk it!). Beach volleyball player Zara Dampney gets points for her sporty yet chic pair, as well as her pearl earrings, while USA basketballer Kevin Durant's shades probably wouldn't pass the EU's stringent UV regulations. Huge visors are functional for cyclists but, reminiscent as they are of the Alexander McQueen autumn 12 sci-fi accessory, that doesn't make them any less cool – and with added reflected Olympic rings photo opps to boot. Plenty of Olympians wore jewellery while competing, but a pair of Chanel earrings trumps pretty much all the rest.
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