Fashion Reports

Fashion Report — Episode 2

Kanuck: And we’re back with Episode Two, which was thankfully more entertaining than a certain movie with the same title. The Racers were kind enough to help us out with plenty of fodder for fashion snark.

Big Slick: So considerate of them.

Kanuck: This episode was chock-full of accessories, wasn’t it?

Big Slick: Chock-full of crappy accessories (Brian & Greg, I’m talking to your sunglasses).

Kanuck: They do have quite the collection of sunglasses, don’t they?
Most of the Racers continued to wear and/or display their official bandanas, leading me to wonder if the “don’t mention the word ‘race’” clause in the contract was replaced with “bandanas must be worn at all times.” In addition to their orange bandanas, Brian and Greg must’ve raided their storage closets for winter gear, coming up with a headband and toque (with pompom!) that practically shout Retro!
Brother X—no, I can’t tell them apart yet—took us to McEnroe heights with a bicentennial headband!
Big Slick: Yes, it’s a very hipster Race for that team. I mean, Aaron sported hipster sweat bands last season, but at least they were the subtle, wrist variety. Brother X—no, I can’t tell them apart yet—took us to McEnroe heights with a bicentennial headband! Add the camo and general sporty-white-boy-ness, and they’re also a little Abercrombie. That tasselled stocking cap was positively hipstercrombie!

Kanuck: Heh. I think I prefer Debbie’s orange fleece hat and scarf set, or Amber’s fuzzy red hat that you admired last week.

Big Slick: I love Amber’s hat! And, after a little research, I have determined that it is genuine Elmo-skin. Tickle that, Romber.

I do love the scarves this season. I wouldn’t think it would be a practical garment to bring on the Race, but Lynn and Debbie and Susan have looked great and kept their throats warm while doing it.

Kanuck: Speaking of practical garments, TAR 6’s Adam may be gone, but it seems as though the man-pris live on, as both Patrick and Lynn were sporting khaki versions.

Big Slick: It makes me ashamed to be a ’mo. As did Lynn’s Winona Ryder action with respect to his shoe-shine uniform. I expected such behaviour (there’s that “u” again!)–

Kanuck: Didn’t you know? “U” is step one in the World Domination Plan.

Big Slick: –from Ron and the others who kept the shiny shiny shiny blue futbol jersey-style uniform and wore it on the way to the airport, but why the gays? We’re supposed to have style and taste!

Kanuck: And speaking of pants, what was with Brian (or was it Greg)’s camo pants? The brothers seem quite fond of the thrift store look (or more likely the designer pseudo-thrift look), but I’d like to point out that wearing military-inspired patterns while travelling through countries that have experienced their share of internal conflicts and/or have a strong military presence is not the wisest choice.

Big Slick: And did you see Brian-or-was-it-Greg’s jacket? Brown with V-stripes (do those qualify as a chevron?). No wonder there were sparks with Megan-or-was-it-Heidi(-or-Shane-or-Sia). They recognized one of their own kind. Cross-team twinning. At least the boys didn’t go the gay newsie route.

The gay newsies this week were all about Vicki’s. They sported Victoria’s Secret “PINK” sweatpants—which was a great PoMo move (they were, after all, the designated pink team, as coded by the bandanas). And, in addition to the non-pink PINK pants, we were also treated to a glimpse of Megan-or-was-it-Heidi’s lovely, tan, lacy thong! That gave me a little frisson. Just a little one, but a frisson nonetheless. Remember Lena’s granny panties in the hayfield last year? It’s good to see Racers learning from their peers’ mistakes.
Why’s that, you ask? (Oh, you didn’t? Well, I’m still going to tell you.) Let’s call it the Backpack Theorem.
Kanuck: Even before we saw their various missteps in the first episode, I was predicting that the Barbie girls wouldn’t be around for long. Why’s that, you ask? (Oh, you didn’t? Well, I’m still going to tell you.) Let’s call it the Backpack Theorem.

Big Slick: If I were Paul Shaffer, I’d introduce it with its own theme. Backpack Theorem, Backpack Theorem, What’s that on your back? It’s the Backpack Theorem! Yeah!

Kanuck: The Backpack Theorem states that backpack size is inversely proportional to the length of time spent on the Race. Over the past few seasons, I’ve noticed that teams that make it to the final three or four tend to have smaller, lighter packs. The exception would be Chip and Kim, but as we learned here, they dumped a lot of their stuff quite early in the Race. Whether it’s the result of past travel experience, good advice, studying footage of past season (a la Colin) or a combination of the three, I think that the packs are an indicator of how well a team is prepared for the Race. That said, the Barbie girls had the largest packs I’ve seen in a while - one of them even had a jacket with a fur-lined hood! Did anyone tell them that this was a Race, not a fashion show to display the entire Barbie wardrobe collection?

To continue with this theory, I tried to pay attention to the packs carried by each of the teams. Debbie and Bianca had the smallest packs, followed by the Happy Boys and the seniors. At the other end of the spectrum, Susan, Patrick, and Uchenna all had fairly big packs, although they didn’t seem quite as big as the Barbie ones. The other teams fell somewhere in between, although I noticed that in each of the mixed teams the men’s packs were larger than those of their partners – maybe they got stuck with the power bar supply?

Big Slick: Remember the size difference between Freddy and Kendra’s packs? I suppose it worked for them (although you just know she really wanted a native porter).

Kanuck: Only non-breeding porters need apply. I was surprised to see that Ron and Kelly each had an inflatable camping mattress strapped to their packs – have we ever seen those before? They are certainly lightweight and may come in handy, but strapped onto the side of a pack they tend to get caught on things, and I’m curious to see if they’ll be dumped somewhere along the way. And finally, quite a few of the Racers had waterproof covers on their packs when they took off from Cusco during a rainstorm, while Rob had a plastic bag over his (oh, and of course his and Amber’s packs were red and white). Ok, it’s official, I spent way too much time thinking about this.

Big Slick: Their packs were red and white. Their jackets were red and white. Amber’s track suit was red and white. Their insides, which some other teams want to tear out and dance upon, are red and white. It’s a theme!

But . . . oh, here it comes . . . I like it. The color coding is not exactly subtle, but it does provide something that has been lacking in the past few seasons: VISUAL VARIETY! WOOHOO!

Gone are the days of greys and blacks monotonously buzzing across our screens. Welcome, bright colors and racers who pop, rather than blend in! The bandanarama may be silly, but the teams look good in their assigned colors (with the possible exception of Susan & Patrick). So, hooray to the newly-minted TAR costume department! And, by the way, if you were to line them up like this: Romber, Brian & Greg, Uchenna & Joyce, Susan & Patrick, Ray & Deana, Lynn & Alex . . . you would realize that the gays really run the show.

Until next time, remember that that rainbow is God’s promise of color and style and good taste.

Kanuck: And colour too ;-)