Op-Ed

Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies: In High Fashion

Birds Nest Beijing

Birds Nest Beijing

DALLAS, Aug 9, 2008 / FW/ — The TV screen might be small and the feeling of grandeur felt by 90,000 people inside the Bird’s Nest could never be compared, but the message sent via the airwaves was clear – China, the sleeping giant has awoken.

With a population of approximately 1.4 billion, China is the most populous country in the world, housing about 1/5 of the world’s population. The International Olympic Committee even said publicly that the reason why Beijing won the bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics is because the IOC wanted to show it to an additional 1.4 billion pairs of eyes.

In the cinematic blockbuster in real time called the Opening Ceremonies, the world finally understood why fashion designers have found China a constant source of inspiration. Fifty-six provinces that have unique costumes plus a 5,000-year-old civilization that has been isolated and open during different times allowed a constant rebirth, renewal, even a reinvention of this nation.

From the engineering feat of the Bird’s Nest, to the execution of the opening ceremonies itself, it was massive in scope yet very minute in its precision. The 15,000 performers knew exactly where, when and how they should be to the millisecond. There were no physical markers, yet they formed perfect circles and counted down in seconds. It is people power in tune with precision.

The costumes worn during this 4-hour show would be a source of inspiration for many designers. From the long tailored coats worn by the drummers to the crinkled voluminous gowns worn by the dancers plus the provincial costumes, it is a gold mine for inspirations.

For four hours, the world listened to China, for four hours there was a truce between China and the world for the social, political and environmental issues that has been brought on the negotiating table and hopefully this truce will stay for 17 glorious days as the world’s best athletes compete.

Birds Nest Beijing

Birds Nest Beijing