Stella McCartney’s New Team GB Kit
With the opening ceremony starting tomorrow, it seems like there has been more drama in 2016’s Olympic games than ever and it hasn’t even started yet.
There has been a huge Russian doping scandal exposed, along with the speculation regarding the condition of some of the facilities for both the athletes and fans over in Rio. What’s more there have been protests throughout the city following the Olympic torch due to the amount of money that has been spent on the games in a country with such high rates of poverty.
Anyway, the games must go on. Stella McCartney has already fired a starting pistol when she unveiled Team GB’s patriotic new kit three months ago, which has thrown out the idea of the Union Jack and replaced it with an extremely British coat of arms.
“The coat of arms is all around us in Britain. It’s so much a part of us that we barely even notice it, but it is so distinctively British,” said McCartney, and she seems to have got it spot on. The coat of arms she has designed is made up of a selection of British symbolism and is undeniably patriotic. Three lions hold three fiery Olympic batons; our nations’ flowers (leek, rose, flax, thistle) appear in the centre shield; and a crown composed of medals sits up top (“symbolising continuity, teamwork and shared responsibility”). The design has an almost heritage feel to it in some aspects and is a confident symbol which stands out among the futuristic graphics that abound on most sportswear.
At the bottom, Latin script reads: “Conjoined in one”. As a team of athletes including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Tom Daly and the flag bearer Andy Murrey strut out in to the opening ceremony tomorrow, viewers shall be struck by the sheer power of Brand GB. “I really fought for the coat of arms,” said McCartney, post-reveal. “I had to go through so many governing bodies, BOA, BPA, to get approval – and I’m not used to that. It’s a bit like being back in school. But I wanted to gift the nation.”
“It entailed a lot more work,” she admitted to Vogue magazine. “The obvious thing is to work with the Union Flag. But what I wanted to do this time was to have imagery and icons within the treatment that felt individualised. So every single piece of the kit is different – different pieces of the design have been pulled out and blown up – and that meant that we had to style it more, create outfits from different pieces.” She pauses. “Whenever I talk to the athletes, they say they want to feel like a team. I wanted them to feel like one.”
After suggestions that the fashion world’s obsession with sportswear would make this a fairly ordinary task at the moment McCartney stated “It’s not a fashion conversation at all, and that’s why I love it,” She firmly discussed “It’s nothing to do with fashion. This is purely about some of the greatest athletes walking on this planet right now, and what they need to do to maximise their potential and their training and their commitment.”
The performance element of the kit has been guided by Adidas. They claim that technical advances will give this year’s athletes an advantage on their 2012 predecessors. Fabric is on average 10% lighter than in 2012, helping athletes go faster and further. ‘Climachill’ technology has been employed to cope with the different challenges of the Brazilian climate, keeping cool air flowing in and heat and sweat flowing out. According to Adidas product manager John Stewart, six sports including marathon, tennis and basketball will benefit from boost technology in footwear, which is designed to direct energy back into the foot on impact.
So it’s looking pretty good for Team GB this year, who will be looking pretty good standing on that podium.
Check out some of our favourite pieces from Stella McCartney’s latest sunglasses collection, online now.