London 2012 British Kit

Phillips Idowu in Team GB kit (telegraph.co.uk)

Under the supervision of Stella McCartney, Adidas has produced a stylish kit for Great Britain’s real life answer to the X-Men. In fact the X on the waist of some versions of the kit does echo the X-men symbol. (Although perhaps X-factor is a more appropriately British reference.)

This X is just one part of the striking reinterpretation of the Union flag that Stella McCartney has undertaken. The flag is hinted at but does not dominate, as our national symbol has done so many times before. Most notable is the way that McCartney has used the red of the flag, taking it from the banner itself and making it a highlight to be used on collars, waistbands, socks and footwear.

Team GB 2012 kit (ldnfashion.com)

There has been some chatter on the internet saying that perhaps it is ‘too blue’ and hence not British looking enough. This reaction seems a tad over the top. The Union Flag is prominent but, by giving it a blue rinse, the design succeeds in giving us an opportunity to give a second look to our sometimes controversial symbol of national unity.

As always these athletes appear to us as superheroes however, unusually, this kit washes out some of the jingoism and replaces it with a cooler, more stylish kind of national pride. There will be attempts to whip up controversy about the design, no doubt, as we are so fond of complaining – particularly about these games. But we can’t find fault in this tremendous, subtle, piece of British design.

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