Written by Amy Steadman • Published 01st August 2012
Great Britain continues to rejoice in the patriotic buzz caused by Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony to the 2012 Olympics. Nothing short of perfection, the ceremony has received overwhelming praise from the billions who watched. However, like all successes, there must be some criticism. In this case, it has been directed at team GB’s ceremony outfits which caused some team members to self-name themselves as ‘a group of Ali G impersonators.’
Whereas most countries stuck to either cultural attire or smart and subtly patriotic outfits, such as Belgium’s suits that incorporated the colours of their flag, Team GB donned tacky white and gold tracksuits.
Criticism of the nations fashion faux-pas was initially misdirected at the fabulous Stella McCartney. Desperate to distance herself from the outfits, McCartney’s team immediately tweeted ‘Thanks for the support! To clarify, Stella designed the Team GB performance kit, podium suit & village wear, not the Olympic ceremony suits.’ The top designer’s desire to not be associated with the outfits can only confirm its error in the world of fashion.
Instead of entrusting the important role to McCartney the job was left in the ‘capable’ hands of high-street brand Next. Claiming the design represented ‘sport strength and youthfulness’ with colours selected to make team GB ‘stand out,’ the only reason team GB stood out was for looking comically casual in outfits Grazia’s Paula Reed compared to that of ‘Buzz Lightyear.’
Perhaps team GB should have followed the example set by the USA whose smart suits were classic and sophisticated, designed by Ralph Lauren. Instead, at a moment where the nation should have been on trend, the tasteless design has somewhat tarnished our image. Here’s to hoping that McCartney’s designs salvage it.