Our uniform distaste for our daggy fluoro Olympians
America got Ralph Lauren. Britain got Stella McCartney. We got… more green and gold.
Australia’s 2012 London Olympic competition uniforms have been unveiled, and even though Sally Pearson cartwheeled down the centre of the runway, nothing could save us from yet another dreary Olympic uniform.
With the exception of Cathy Freeman’s headsock back in 2000, Australia’s competition outfits have been a wash of crop tops, tight shorts, misfitting t-shirts and the obligatory green and gold for decades.
In 2005 Adidas signed a 12-year deal to design the athletes’ outfits for the next three Olympic games, and this year, the injection of fluorescent “acid buzz” trimmings, trackpant ruching and hidden kangaroo prints were supposed to be what set these uniforms apart from the rest.
But if even reading that description made you cringe, you can only imagine the effect the uniform has in person.
Yes, Adidas put practicality ahead of style, and the uniforms are meant to enhance speed, agility and breathability. But have you seen what they managed to do for the UK team? If they can bag Stella McCartney to co-design Britain’s wares, why can’t they do the same for Australia?
Granted, McCartney’s offering didn’t please everyone thanks to the omission of red from the union jack, but at least her outfits pushed the boundaries a little and gave the rest of us something mildly interesting to look at.
Perhaps Adidas should have injected some spirit from local designers like Sass and Bide or Romance Was Born? Crazy prints and interesting patterns could have gone a long way for the Aussie team.
Heck, while were going down that vein, what about a collaboration with an iconc label like Billabong? The company could certainly have used the profit boost after being forced to close 150 stores, and Australia is just as represented by our sun and surf as we are by our red sands (cue flashbacks to Mambo’s Sydney 2000 horror - surely Billabong couldn’t get it more wrong than that when designing a swimsuit for Stephanie Rice.)
Either way, whoever designs and whoever collaborates, Australia desperately needs a better Olympic uniform - ruched trackpant designers need not apply.
And if you want to look at the benchmark in this year’s uniform design, check out the Ralph Lauren-clad Americans. If looking good means medals in London, these guys will top the table for sure.
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