Will the French Olympic Team Be Best Dressed at the Opening Ceremony?

In the sprawling fashion show that will be the 2024 Summer Olympics — the various ceremonial fits, the performance uniforms, the podium kit, the merch — there is perhaps no more freighted look than what the French delegation will wear to the opening ceremony.

Not only is France the host country, but it has enlisted LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, as a lead sponsor, meaning that fashion and all other forms of sumptuously chic craft have become part of the story of the event — beginning with the OC outfit. Which means it has to represent not just France, not just French athletes, but Frenchness itself, thatje ne sais quoi of Gallic style. And it has to look good on approximately 1,400 members of the Olympic and Paralympic delegation as they march down the side of the Seine in the heat of the European summer.

No pressure. On Tuesday, a hundred days out from the Games, as the Olympic torch begins to make its way from Athens to Paris, the looks were finally revealed.

Tapped to fulfill the job was Berluti, a surprising choice by LVMH given that it is one of the group’s smaller houses, a men’s wear brand and doesn’t even have an official designer — and other potential candidates included Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy and Kenzo. It is exactly because of all that, however, that Berluti stands to benefit the most from the gig. Also, Antoine Arnault, the LVMH Olympics czar, said, “Berluti is the temple of bespoke and thus capable of outfitting a swimmer, a basketball player or a gymnast.” If the brand gets it right, it’s a win even without a medal.

So did they?

Designed in collaboration with Carine Roitfeld, the former editor of French Vogue, current editor of CR Fashion Book, and an all-around famous Frenchwoman, the looks are a valiant attempt to rewrite the rules of athlete outfits that somehow also call to mind Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve playing Pan Am flight attendants on the lam at Le Palace.

There is a sleeveless jacket that comes with matching slim pants or a straight skirt cut to the knee.Credit…Kacper Kasprzyk
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