Monday, 26 March 2012

Styling The Nation: Team GB...

Whilst writing this post for Gossipdrip (my new journalistic venture), I thought I'd include it on my own blog in a little more detail. A little different to my usual fashion posts, but nevertheless fashion - the sporting kind.

I'm not a massive one for sport, which if you know me you will be more than aware. However, when I was asked by my editor to have a look at the new kit for Team GB I was rather intrigued. Designed by Stella McCartney it was always going to be something a little exciting, if not entirely what everyone was expecting.

With a less traditional take on the Union Jack, the kit focuses more on blue than red, something which has been criticised by a lot of people. Stella stated “Something that was very important to me was to try and use that very iconic image but to dismantle it and try to soften it, break it down and make it more fashionable in a sense." The much loved red is still featured within the kit, in the form of the socks, shoes and neckline of the tops. 

The men’s tennis shorts are not really very interesting in any way, shape, or form.  I feel as though they could be developed on further with a little more colour or texture, they just seem hugely plain to me. The shirt boasts the use of the two tones of blue, shown throughout the Team GB kit, including a little bit of red piping round the neckline and arms and subtly incorporated into the trainers. I know there has been a lot of criticism regarding the small usage of red within the kit, I however much prefer it. It is so much more toned down and easy on the eye, too much red would have been far too garish. Personally, colourwise I think it is a vast improvement on previous kits.

Now I’m going to go straight to the point, I’m not entirely sure on the purpose of the obi like belt in this outfit. I’m not quite sure it is necessary, or aesthetically pleasing in the slightest. As far as I’m concerned this is probably the least likeable outfit of the entire collection. At the end of the day it is just a tracksuit jacket and joggers – nothing special. Sorry cycling ladies, I’m just not a fan of this one.

Ahh the one piece, kindly created for the triple jumping athletes. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to pull off a one piece, it’s not really a free for all kind of look. However, Phillips Idowu manages to do justice in it. Thankfully those wearing this bad boy shall be tall, slim, and fit – otherwise I think we’d be having major problems. Incorporating a little more red (for the haters), the knee length socks  are quite satisfactory as much so as socks can be, though I cannot help but look at the X across the midriff and think of the X Factor. Not the reaction I anticipate that they hoped for when designing that.

Here we've got Jessica Ennis in the first of two women's track and field kits. Not going to lie, the first thing I notice with this, as I'm sure the majority of you do, is how insanely jealous of her figure I am. Though I say this sat in bed with a giant bar of Cadbury crunchie next to me and a cuppa with 2 sugars in my hand, not quite to her level of fitness as of yet. Back to the kit however, there is a heck of a lot of branding on such a small amount of material that there isn’t really a lot of room for anything else. Because of this there doesn’t really seem to be much, if any resonance of a flag which is something that is included in all other bits of kit. Other than showing off her incredible body, this outfit doesn’t do a lot else to promote 'Britishness'. 

The second of the women’s track and field kit takes us back to the flag being the main focal point, again in the beautiful tones of blue. The leggings add that little something extra with the stripe design on the bottom – possibly something that should have thought about doing with the men’s tennis shorts. 

Now this is definitely, categorically, 100% my least favourite bit of kit. How dull is it!? We’ve lost the flag, there really is the smallest amount of red possible, and it’s just black. Black. The most boring and depressing colour in existence. In fact, it isn’t even considered a colour. Disappointing, disappointing. His thighs however – jeeeeeeez, look at the size of them!!!

The men’s football kit consisting of just a slightly shorter pair of the men’s tennis shorts, and the usual cut up flag top. Nice and fitted, streamlined and nipped in at the waist the top is fine, nothing of excitement to include. I will say again though that I do disagree with everyone’s criticisms of the lack of red, I really do like the two shades of blue used, it’s just so much nicer on the eye.

The second of the ladies cycling outfits, a huge huge HUGE improvement on the first ghastly tracksuit. Much more streamlined, fitted and flattering. I’m loving the contrast colour shoulders, very McCartney esque. I would have liked it if the trainers were red though like the majority of other kits, but nevermind.

And last, but certainly not least, Drew Sullivan looking good in the men’s basketball kit. Probably the most red in all the tops we’ve seen, nicely placed around the neck and shoulders. A nice shade of blue across the majority of the top and a brilliant pair of swooshing shorts as I like to call them. Pretty nifty if I do say so myself.

Created by Adidas with the aim to be breathable, light and streamlined, Stella’s involvement in the design process was to make the ensemble more ‘cool’ and stylish. The idea is that feeling better in their appearance will in turn make the athletes perform to a higher standard. We shall see if that is the case when counting out the medals. Bring us home the gold Team GB!

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