Stylebook: Ralph Lauren patriotic for Team USA Olympics togs


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In 2012, Ralph Lauren was criticized for manufacturing Team USA's Olympic parade uniforms in China. Ever since then the brand has been proactive to crush any lingering questions of its patriotism and allegiance.

For the opening ceremony outfits Team USA will wear next week to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the designer has created a patchwork sweater that reflects the collage of unique stories that make up the country's athletes. More than 40 vendors spanning the United States had a hand in the wardrobe's design.

Toboggans and cardigans are red, white and navy, with American flags, stars, stripes and other USA-spirited insignia. Athletes will pair these pieces with cream cotton turtleneck sweaters, slim-fit white fleece athletic pants, black leather boots with red laces and a cotton belt with patriotic graphics. Ralph Lauren also designed the red-and-navy peacoats athletes will sport at the closing ceremony, as well as a collection of village wear that includes hats, sweaters, polos, graphic tees and more available at www.ralphlauren.com.

For the first time, 100 percent of the purchase price of the opening ceremony cardigan will be donated to the U.S. Olympic Committee. Despite the efforts to improve the public's impressions of Olympic apparel, the U.S. State Department has some dire warnings: Athletes should be wary of wearing clothes with any USA signage outside the Olympic zone because it could place them at greater risk of being a target for terrorism.

Pittsburgh fashion and beauty front ...

Development meeting for Fashion Group International Pittsburgh chapter: Members of the Pittsburgh fashion and retail community are invited to a meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, to continue discussions of developing a local chapter of Fashion Group International, a nonprofit that helps unite and promote fashion insiders from around the world.

Questions should be directed to Stephanie Taylor, department chair for the school's fashion retail management and fashion design programs, at 412-291-5132. Learn more about Fashion Group International at www.fgi.org.

Woodlands DIVAS runway show promotes self confidence, inner beauty: Support young women ages 8-24 who have a disability or chronic illness as they walk the runway at 134 Shenot Road, Marshall. The show at 4 p.m. Saturday will cap the annual DIVAS weekend, a "girls-only" sleepover event that includes a hair and makeup makeover, fashion headshots, runway coaching and motivational talk with Josie Badger, Ms. Wheelchair America 2012.

WPXI's Amy Marcinkiewicz will emcee the runway show, which will be followed by a reception. It's free. Information: www.MyWoodlands.org.

Carlisle/Per Se spring trunk shows: Beat the blues of record-breaking cold temperatures by getting a jump-start on spring shopping. Women can browse the stylish sophisticated brand Saturday through Feb. 10 at times and locations convenient for them.

To book an appointment, contact lsstengel@savoirforcarlisle.com or 412-276-6284.


For more from PG fashion writer Sara Bauknecht, check out the PG's Stylebook blog at www.post-gazette.com/stylebook. Follow her on Twitter @SaraB_PG. To have a fashion or style event considered for Stylebook, send listing to sbauknecht@post-gazette.com.

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