Mini Moodboard: Out on a Limb

The Winter Olympics in Sochi have wrapped up and the Paralympics Games are on deck March 7-16. There are only five events – Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Curling. Wouldn't it be amazing to see technology and interest advance so that all fifteen of the disciplines were represented. In my search on the subject, I came across this beautiful concept for a figure skating prosthetic. 

Years ago, when I was an editor at I.D. Magazine, we published one of the first stories on runner and model Aimee Mullins. Lately, it seems there have been some very cool developments for both sporting prosthetics, as well as designer versions for the fashionista. 

I encourage you to check out The Alternative Limb Project by Sophie de Oliveira Barata. She's developed some gorgeous legs for artist and performer Viktoria Modesta, including the stereo leg (seen here) and a Swarovski crystal version for her performance in the London Paralympic Closing Ceremony.  

Now, 3D printing is bringing a whole new life to dimension to personal expression. Bespoke Fairings creates custom 3D-printed prosthetic coverings with intricate patterns, graphics and materials. It great to see all these advances "contribute to the positive perception of beauty and disabilities."

L) Victoria Modesta wearing the Stereo Leg. Prosthetic Limb by Sophie de Oliveira Barata
R) Aloft, Figure Skating Prosthetic. Concept by Yanin Alexa Kramsky

Mini Moodboard: Eyes on the Prize

Mini Moodboard: Eyes on the Prize. Mental imagery techniques or Google Glass

Analog or digital, visualization tools increasingly augment our reality and enhance performance. Olympians, like U.S. freestyle aerialist Emily Cook (shown here), use imagery techniques that simulate sight, sound and even smells, to mentally train for the Games. Alternatively, Google Glass is bringing visualization technology in a heads-up display for optimized information. 

L) Emily Cook, Olympic Freestyle Aerials. Clive Mason / Getty Images
R) Google Glass

Mini Moodboard: Face-off

Russia and the United States face off during Men's Ice Hockey on Day 8 of the Sochi Olympic Games. The US went on to win the match up, but later lost face to Canada in the Semifinals for the second time in a row. Model Alexina proves you can always be victorious with jewelry, high heels and full-on makeup. Sometimes, a girl needs a little lipstick and mascara to help conquer the day.

L) Face-off, USA vs Russia. Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
R) Juegos de Invierno, S Moda. Photo by Nelson Simoneau


Mini Moodboard: Go Figure

As the Sochi Olympics crown a new figure skating queen - Adelina Sotnikova - for Russia first ladies gold. Here's a little Throwback Thursday, in the days before figure skating was big business. A picture of my hero, 1976 Olympic gold medalist, Dorothy Hamill (I had this haircut for years) and a 1970s-era Simplicity pattern for homemade dresses.

L) Dorothy Hamill. Photo by John G. Zimmerman
R) Simplicity Skating dress pattern. Via Etsy

Mini Moodboard: Corduroy

Those perfect pistes don't get that way by themselves. Tons of horsepower and man hours are required to level the playing field and keep those Olympic runs, half-pipes and jumps properly groomed. And, as the A/W 2014 fashion collections hit the runways, you can expect the fall staple, corduroy, will be on target.

L) Fresh corduroy at Deer Valley, Utah. Image via
R) Ieva Laguna for Vogue Germany. Photo by Greg Kadel

Mini Moodboard: Yard Sale

Colloquial expression when a skier or snowboarder wipes out on the slopes leaving a trail of gear strewn about the snow. More commonly known as a miscellaneous sale of goods usually held on someone's front lawn.

Henrik Harlaut of Sweden wipes out in the Men's Olympic Slopestyle Skiing in Sochi, losing his skis, pants and probably his earphones too. While Mimi Yung Brook & Lyn styles shoes (real and doll) for her online shoe. I love the contrast in accidental and purposeful scattering of objects, as well as the color yellow connecting the two.

T) Henrik Harlaut, 2014 Sochi. Photo by Al Bello for Getty Images
B) Photo styled by Brook & Lyn. Image source via Style Bubble

Mini Moodboard: Spills and Thrills

When I was young and way before 24hr cable television, I used to religiously watch The Wide World of Sports on ABC every Saturday afternoon. I would be glued to the TV to watch "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" play out across the screen. It's ever present throughout the Olympic Games and certainly keeps us on the edge of our seats. Heros fall and the underdog wins gold and there's absolutely no predictability – unlike the rest of television programming. 

T) Women's 500m Speed Skating crash, 2014 Sochi. Photo by Kyle Terada for USAToday 
B) Ordinary Accidents. Photo by Alessio Bolzoni for Grey Magazine #6.

Mini Moodboard: Free Fall

In reviewing stills from the days' Olympic events, I couldn't help but make the visual connection between all the tragic spills, like this one by figure skater Jeremy Abbott and Robert Longo's series of twisting, contorted figures. The artist photographed friends lurching backward, collapsing forward or sprawled out on an invisible pavement. The drawings were made in near life-size scale and are some of his most recognizable.  

L) Jeremy Abbott. Photo by Richard Mackson for USAToday
R) Untitled, 1981-87. From Men in Cities series by Robert Longo

Mini Moodboard: Visionary

A person with a clear, distinctive and detailed vision of the future. This term can be easily assigned to an Olympic athlete, as well as exceptional designers, such as the late Alexander McQueen. In this case, the device that allows the wearer to see, simultaneously provides a shield for privacy and protection.

L) Skeleton helmet. Image source NYTimes
R) Mirrored visor, Alexander McQueen A/W 2012. Image source British Vogue

Mini Moodboard: Aerodynamics

When speed is your game, the efficient flow of air is of utmost importance. Olympic lugers know this first hand and get all the help they can from special Adizero boots that keeps toes pointed down. The power of stripes are clearly evident in the Mercedes wind tunnel.

T) Adizero luge booties by Adidas. Image source
B) Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. Image source via Mercedes Benz

Mini Moodboard: Kiss the Sky

This post is dedicated to the U.S. Women's Ski Jumping team, as well as beneficiaries – past, present and future – of Title IX. 

If you've been under a rock, you might not have heard that women's ski jumping is an inaugural event at the Winter Olympics. Three U.S. women, Sarah Hendrickson, Lindsey Van and Jessica Jerome, will make history as they represent their country in Sochi. Not surprisingly, daring women have been jumping since the discipline emerged in Norway circa 1863. However, they have long been denied entry to the most prestigious competition. Female jumpers have petitioned the IOC continuously since before the 1998 Nagano Games and finally they will have their due.

Although Title IX has broken down barriers in sports and education for both sexes, the struggle highlighted by the women's ski jumping shows that we still have a long way to go.

L) Sarah Hendrickson. Photo by Martin Schoeller for The New York Times.
R) Title IX

Mini Moodboard: Slope Style

American snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg was crowned the gold medal winner at the Winter Olympics for his Slopestyle run. While all the competitors brought huge tricks, the judges made a clear statement by awarding Kotsenburg not only for his acrobatics, but for his clear sense of individual style. This could just set a precedent that triple corks are over. Perhaps competitors can go back to being the boarders they started out to be.

Mark Sollors presents slope style of a different fashion. Shown here in a shoot for Playboy Magazine, the pro boarder trades in his baggy gear for an eye-popping and fitted lime green suit that takes an award in my book. 

L) Sage Kotsenburg. Photo by Javier Soriano/AFP - Getty Images
R) Mark Sollors for Playboy Magazine. Photo by Tony Kelly