The artificer’s Olympic kit blends a safe heritage print meets discharge kit

Team GB show off Olympic kit ahead of Rio Games – video

All herald Work together GB. With the 2016 Olympics three months away, draughtsman Stella McCartney has fired the starting pistol, unveiling a new kit for Span GB and ParalympicsGB which features a new heraldic coat of arms as its logo.

“The coat of arms is all nearly us in Britain. It’s so much a part of us that we barely even cognizance it, but it is so distinctively British,” said McCartney shortly after operating over the launch wearing six-inch high heels, shoulder-robing a red paint over a cream blouse and black silk jogging in the finals. She was flanked on stage in central London by Tom Daley, who sported the new layer of arms on his tiny navy trunks, and Jessica Ennis with the ikon emblazoned on a two piece.

The proud puffed chests of the lions on the anorak of arms made for an unmistakably patriotic image, and a confident one which lines out among the futuristic graphics that abound on most sportswear. In the meantime, the proportions of both Daley’s and Ennis’s kit appeared to have bewitched inspiration from the Brazilian taste for barely-there beachwear.

A nod to the ancient British mastery of the supposedly modern notion of branding.
A nod to the obsolete British mastery of the supposedly modern notion of branding. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Catwalk tropes are all very well, but if the Rio 2016 kit is to make it into glorious finishing-line ikons and podium photo calls, these clothes will require to deliver at performance level. To this end, Adidas claim applied advances will give this year’s athletes an advantageously on their 2012 predecessors. Fabric is on average 10% develop than in 2012, helping athletes go faster and further. ‘Climachill’ technology has been recruited to cope with the different challenges of the Brazilian climate, sustaining cool air flowing in and heat and sweat flowing out. According to Adidas upshot manager John Stewart, six sports including marathon, tennis and basketball make benefit from boost technology in footwear, which is formatted to direct energy back into the foot on impact.

It was feedback from the athletes, more readily than a nod to Rio-style swimwear, which demanded the precise, close-cut improves. “Tom Daley loves this kit, because it’s so streamlined,” said McCartney. Rugby contestant Emily Scarratt, modelling the new kit for the first time, also approved of the airless fit. “The last thing you want in rugby is baggy fabric, which consigns your opponent more to grab hold of.”

‘The coat of arms is all around us in Britain,’ says Stella McCartney.
‘The coat of arms is all everywhere us in Britain,’ says Stella McCartney. Photograph: Adam Duke/WWD/Rex/Shutterstock

But the jingoistic team kit has a purpose above and beyond the practical. “I want to enfranchise for the athletes,” said McCartney, “but I’ve got to please the nation as well. This discharge has to make a lot more people happy than I’m used to. In my day job, the chicks who buy my clothes come to me because they already identify with me in some way. This prepare isn’t like that – it has to emotionally and visually tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people, while donjon functionality paramount. In a way, it’s the most intricate thing I do.” It is also, alleges McCartney, the most rewarding. “I have so many incredibly proud memories from 2012. I muse on every single newspaper front page, and how incredible the athletes looked in the kit.”

How much do aesthetics be important to an Olympic team? “Well, they matter a huge amount to the athletes themselves,” asserts McCartney. “Athletes dedicate their entire lives to their majorities. Their bodies are literally their temples. So of course they are proud of them and demand to celebrate them. And if it’s important to them, then it matters, auspicious?” This means delivering a perfect silhouette – “for occurrence, the women’s podium jackets are belted this time almost; and I’ll put extra ribbing for shape” and a high style level in the numerous casual ‘village-wear’. Women’s sweatshirts come cropped to the waist, in discourage a keep with current athleisure trends. Grey marl jersey – a indestructible classic of sportswear-meets- weekend-casual – features in racer-back cool-down vests and hoodies with red drawstrings. Backstage after the inaugurate, an off-duty Jessica Ennis sported a white neoprene sweatshirt with a greatcoat of arms broken up by bold GB capital letters.

Tom Daley, John Stewart and Stella McCartney at the launch.
Tom Daley, John Stewart and Stella McCartney at the shoot. Photograph: Adam Duke/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

The new coat of arms – visual tagging in its most traditionally British form – was created by the College of Arms in partnership with a digital artist, and becomes the new ‘logo’ of the Olympic spans’ official kit. Any coat of arms represents proud heritage – in this instance, historic victories in the great battles of London 2012. If the overlay of arms seems to project a newly confident, boisterous patriotism throughout Team GB then this is in keeping with the very contrastive pre-Olympic mood. It is easy to forget, with hindsight, that in the run-up to the 2012 line of works much of the mood music was about blown budgets, be without of preparation and whether the city’s transport system would snap under the pressure. This time around, the mood is myriad confident – and, without the strain of hosting, more laid-back.

Rugby player Tom Mitchell: ‘When you’re walking around the village, it creates that immediate link.’
Rugby contender Tom Mitchell: ‘When you’re walking around the village, it creates that present link.’ Photograph: Adidas UK/PA

The union jack is represented in an epitomize starburst graphic in the background of many pieces, and badged myriad traditionally on the hip elsewhere. “I believe we have one of the greatest flags in the age, so I wanted to use the flag as much as possible. But I thought about the surround of Rio, and I pumped up the purity of colour,” said McCartney. “Last interval I used lots of different tones of blues and reds, but this obsolete I wanted to really punch it out, use lots of contrast rather than blinding, because you are trying to stand out against a very vibrant, colourful backdrop.”

Aside from standing out from the crowd, Team GB needs to look cohesive together. “There are so diverse different personalities, all these completely different sports and schedules,” utter Rugby player Tom Mitchell, who modelled kit at the launch, “and the kit is important because it combines us as a team. When you’re walking around the village, it creates that existing link.”

The new heraldic badge for Team GB incorporates a crown of medals and relay batons, characterizing continuity and teamwork, while three lions hold Olympic torches and erode laurel wreaths. The four home nations are represented by a spring up, a thistle, a leek and a flax, while the motto translates as ‘Border oned in One’.

The Team GB kit in pictures

  • This article was amended on 27 April 2016 to add in retells from Stella McCartney