Check out Team USA’s leotards used by the gymnasts at the London 2012 Olympic Games, sparkling with thousands of Swarovski crystals.
The gold medal winning team’s kit is adorned with a spectacular array of what look like Swarovski flat back crystals. Creating the leotards is GK Elite, which has been making Team USA’s gymnastic leotards for more than two decades; and this summer’s are the most extravagant yet. The company are also outfitting gymnast teams from all over the world at London 2012.
18 months’ worth of design and development went into the garments, including prototypes that had to be presented to the Gymnastics Federation, which athletes would then try on before being passed back for amendments to be made. Many influences went into different jewelled designs, including architectural and patriotic themes.
It’s the Swarovski crystals that really steal the show. More crystals have been used on the athletes’ garments for the London 2012 Olympics than in any games before, and it’s becoming a benchmark for Olympian gymnastic attire.
In an interview with US website Buzzfeed.com, Kelly McKeown, executive vice president of design at GK Elite, talked of the effect Swarovski has had on the garments and designs: “The other day, when the US won the gold, they had a red leotard encrusted with crystals. It was so elegant — they got a lot of complements on how elegant they looked. In fact I went to the champagne toast and Shawn Johnson was there with the parents and she came up to me and said, ‘This is the most beautiful leotard that I’ve ever seen.’ So I think that’s a big statement coming from someone who’s worn hundreds of these”.
Some of the outfits are rumoured to have cost in the neighbourhood of $400 – $500 each (around £260 – £320) which is quite a bill. But, for a gold medal, it’s all worth it.
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