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Model Olympics? Supermodels whip up a storm

Date

Daisy Dumas

Supermodels strode the Closing Ceremony catwalk in some of the UK's top designers' creations - but not everyone approved.

A very sporting catwalk: British supermodels take to the stage at London's Closing Ceremony

A very sporting catwalk: British supermodels take to the stage at London's Closing Ceremony

It was 16 days of show-stopping sporting spectacle - and the Olympics Closing Ceremony was not to be outdone.

Amongst Spice Girls, rock stars, John Lennon's Imagine, a phantasmagorical Airstream-turned-giant octopus and Willy Wonka was an altogether haughtier display: Great Britain's supermodels strutting their stuff.

From role models to supermodels, Kate Moss, undisputed queen of the home catwalk was joined by Naomi Campbell, Lily Cole, Lily Donaldson, Karen Elson, Jourdan Dunn, Stella Tennant and Georgia May Jagger to give the rapturous crowd a glimpse of British fashion.

Olympics supermodels strut their stuff Click for more photos

Olympics supermodels strut their stuff

British supermodels strut their stuff - but not everyone is happy about their inclusion in the London Olympics Closing Ceremony. 

Striding to glam rock - in the form of David Bowie's Fashion, no less - the nine-strong team delivered a dose of high-octane gloss to the proceedings and took the Midas-touched gold bounty theme to the extreme, wearing gowns shimmering with the metallic hue of gold, gold and more gold.

Not that the artistic move, styled by Vogue UK's fashion director, Lucinda Chambers, was to everyone's taste. Twitter soon exploded with critics who deemed the inclusion of some of the fast-living models to be totally out-of-kilter with the spirit of the Games.

Moss's 2005 drug-scandal debacle, during which the model's alleged cocaine habit made headlines internationally, left an open goal for many of the micro-blogging site's users.

Piers Morgan wrote: "I suspect Kate Moss might fail her drugs test later", while @SinbadBrookie added: "Ah yes, Kate Moss, coke sniffing smackheads at the #closingceremony, they sure know how to inspire a generation. Great role models here."

Another, @MartinSLewis tweeted: "A fortnight of celebrating drug free, hard working role models. The #closingceremony is being, lets say, slightly less picky."

The Guardian's Charles Arthur agreed: "Kate Moss! Who represents the Olympic ideals of not doing drugs, or smoking, and achieving lots. Work with me here."

Drugs were not the only target, with many pointing out that the body image issues that are so closely tied to the so-called glamorous world of modelling are a world away from the healthy athletic role-models seen over the past fortnight in London.

Sports writer @olyphil was unambiguous: "We're celebrating anorexic women who do nothing but stand and look beautiful. Fashion show. STOOOOOOOOPID", while another, Elliot Almond, wrote: "Go SuperModels go. Win a medal. Eat."

Sports journalist @rebeccakesby1 wrote: "Sorry why have we got super models in the closing ceremony when we've had so many REAL women over last two weeks????" and former politician @S_A_Somerville added "Never mind supermodels. Catherine Grainger, Jess Ennis, Rebecca Adlington, Victoria Pendleton r role models #closingceremony shld highlight."

Lauren Rutherford said: "The vacuous and self-obsessed fashion industry there, in stark contrast to the hundreds of amazing people surrounding them."

Many others, including @DrEvanHarris held the same opinion: "Ah yes, too-thin fashion models at #closingceremony. Rather lost out in "wannabee" wars to healthy looking women during #London2012".

Despite the backlash, the models won massive applause from the 80,000-strong crowd, which was treated to shimmering designs by the country's most famous fashion labels.

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, creator of Kate Middleton's wedding dress, dressed Moss and Campbell, while Erdem designed Cole's delicate knee-length floral number.

Donaldson wore a sequinned gown with bodice by the grand dame of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood, and Dunn showed mere mortals how to pull off an other-worldly, Grecian-style Stephen Jones feather headdress and white and gold Jonathan Saunders frock.

Jagger wore a Victoria Beckham number, which broke away from the former Spice Girl's usually razor-sharp tailoring with a girly, playful, above-the-knee cocktail dress. Karen Elson was dressed in British stalwart, Burberry.

Male model heavyweight David Gandy, the only man in the fashionable pack, wore a Paul Smith suit, luminescent with Lurex sheen.

As for the Duchess of Cambridge watching on from the stands, the 30-year-old clothes horse chose an understated blue dress from High Street brand, Whistles. The dress has already sold out, thanks to its previous outing at the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, proving all that glitters is not gold.

121 comments

  • Unbelievably ridiculous.

    I thought a closing ceremony was meant to be full of entertainers, not mannequins.

    Commenter
    Bloofer lady
    Date and time
    August 13, 2012, 12:52PM
    • They're not mannequins, they're global fashion icons.

      Wash your mouth out with soap.

      Commenter
      sarajane
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      August 13, 2012, 2:44PM
    • You are all missing the point here - the models were complimenting the British fashion designers who happen to be icons in the industry and it was not a case of putting emphasis on the models. Why cant people be nice - The London games has been the best and hats off to the Brits for doing such a splendid job - they did not have 'thong's on display like the Sydney Olympics. Wake up people and learn to accept and enjoy. Both ceremonies were fantastic

      Commenter
      Helo
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 13, 2012, 3:30PM
    • Apparently the 80,000 crowd enjoyed it. The focus has only been on the negative tweets that came out of it in order to support and article. Is Liam Gallagher drug free? Was Freddie Mercury, The Spice Girls...etc? It appears a lot of the negativity focus is also directed at skinny women too?? Who says they aren't healthy. Oh year, and Kate Moss being a smoker and recreational drug user. I have lived in London. I can tell you that represents half the population. Play on...

      Commenter
      Prof Greenie
      Location
      Hackney
      Date and time
      August 13, 2012, 3:34PM
    • @sarajane. "global fashion icons" = vacuous, vapid, empty eyed walking coat-hangers. Clean out your head with soap, it's filled with junk.

      Commenter
      really now
      Date and time
      August 13, 2012, 3:55PM
    • Why don't you understand anything about the world you live in?

      Commenter
      lola
      Date and time
      August 13, 2012, 6:10PM
    • Excuse moi, didn't we have Elle McPherson in our closing ceremony?

      Commenter
      Mali
      Date and time
      August 14, 2012, 12:01AM
    • what blocks grace
      from the self righteous
      to spoil life's light
      in moments respite

      Commenter
      bobozad
      Location
      newport
      Date and time
      August 14, 2012, 8:47AM
    • The usual grumbles from the usual suspects.

      Why does this paper give a forum for the twits on twitter?

      Commenter
      Taff
      Date and time
      August 14, 2012, 10:29AM
  • Wasn't Elle at the opening or closing ceremony here? I guess at the time she was the only famous one, otherwise we would have had more?

    Commenter
    DMH
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 13, 2012, 1:02PM

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