New Zealand also suffered outsourcing issues, though their black and white, early sixties influenced, Rodd and Gunn designed ceremonial uniform is actually really cute. Also really cute is Hong Kongâs ceremonial uniform by Kent and Curwen. The cream blazer, navy single pleat skirt/pant, red crest combination is a little bit anime school yard, and a lot sharp.
On the home front, itâs very, very difficult to make green and gold look any good at all, but Volley have done their best, consulting with Australian athletes and coming up with something that looks exactly like a prime minister (Howard) spending a day on the cricket field, with white trousers, dark green blazers and just a hint of yellow for the ceremonial uniform. Our athletic uniforms, made by Adidas are screamingly bright and, while I follow sports like a baby duckling follows wolves (not at all, I toddle desperately and fearfully away), they look to me to be virtually indistinguishable from the uniforms Australians are always wearing to various events involving competing with their bodies.
England roped in Stella McCartney to do their uniform design, and much like pulling in a big name like Muse for the Olympic theme song, she went grand and made a bit of a hash of it, with the entire UK athletics team looking more like Marvel characters than athletes. Super special kudos to the knee high red socks, which are particularly ridiculous. The only photograph I could find of any sort of French uniform (fencing, to be specific) also featured knee high red socks, and is also by Adidas (so I guess theyâre pushing those). Needless to say, they looked like a bunch of musketeers.
Slovakia also went down the ridiculous path, clothing its athletes in red, white and blue uniforms that resemble the outfits of a mid nineties, hip-hop influenced boy band. This makes me pretty happy.
Japan has gone with a curvy, stylised rising sun motif that I would mock ceaselessly if I saw it sauntering down a runway, but in the context of skin tight athletic uniforms it sort of works, especially compared to the peculiar print placements of McCartneyâs Union Jacks. The rhythmic gymnasts, who get added glitter to their costumes are amazing.
Potentially in honour of the expression âCanadian tuxedoâ, the Canadian uniform actually features a denim jacket covered in patches. This is the garb of a country that is not taking its summer athletics very seriously.
Ralph Laurenâs take on the US uniform is elegant enough though the logos are grandly oversized, while Nikeâs track and field gear for America is almost as comic-book as McCartneyâs efforts, with the all red-runner in the image they've released bearing a remarkable resemblance to The Flash.
South Koreaâs ceremonial uniform is inspired by what they wore in the 1948 games (the first Olympics after the end of the Japanese occupation) and it looks fantastic. Little sailor scarves, cropped trousers, striped ties and double breasted blazers for the ladies, topped by jaunty fedoras, make it just about the only uniform that actually qualifies as cool and fashionable.
Germanyâs uniforms feature shiny plastic pink and blue jackets, with double exposed press buttons and printed coloured scarves, which is exactly why people make fun of Germans for the way they dress.
Italy enlisted the help of Armani and Prada, and therefore, youâd think theyâd have the best dressed athletes.
Italy does come close, with Pradaâs simple athletic designs looking particularly impressive, however the ultimate gold medal in Olympic fashion goes to China, who have presented a range of different uniforms made in conjunction with Nike, all of which make their athletes look strong, speedy and vaguely terrifying. The yellow-fade-to-red sheen on the Chinese badminton uniform is particularly impressive. While China's designs are not nearly as high tech as the US or UK's offerings, their simplicity actually gives them an air of credibility.
As for the peripheral staff, the helpers and hosts around the London Olympic site will be wearing deeply bizarre, Star Trek meets T