As a teaser, here's one highlight: during the competition Tim Morehouse posted a picture to Facebook featuring a natty gentleman at the competition, and asked "True or False. These are legal Knickers for a USA fencing national competition?" Here are the knickers in question:
I was delighted to see an Olympic fencer (who is, himself, a fashion model) putting a fashion-related question out there for debate (even if the query hinged on a technical, rather than aesthetic, point of contention). The consensus, in response to his post, was that yes, these are legal. (Punctuated with many snarks of disapproval--I'll come back to that in a later post.)
The thread didn't surface who made the knickers, or who was wearing them, so this Fashionista sprang into action to track down the story's details.
The gentleman in question is Joe Deucher, who was competing that day in Vet 40 epee, representing the Tournament Fencing Club, Nevada Division.
Asked about the origin of the Scarlet Knickers, Joe graciously posed to provide documentation:
Mystery solved: manufactured by Triplette, rated 350 N.
As to legality, I believe the relevant language is contained in section 2.6 of the Athlete Handbook, which reads "USA Fencing allows uniforms of a single color other than black..."
People don't seem to take advantage of this latitude very often, though that may just be because equipment manufacturers find it simpler, and less financially risky, to stick to basic white. Here is one other great example I documented at a the 2013 Summer Nationals:
Purple, complemented by a gold lamé. Classy.
This minor chromatic controversy is an excellent prelude to my next post about Dallas, which will contrast the minimalist fashion of fencing with flamboyance on display at the Blood and Thunder Roller Derby World Cup which took place in the Dallas Convention Center at the same time. Stay tuned...