Slip-up allows sneak peek at NZ Olympic uniform

06:45, Jun 28 2012
New Zealand Olympic uniform
SNEAK PEEK: The New Zealand Olympic team's uniform for the London Olympic Games was prematurely unveiled on designer Rodd & Gunn's website today - albeit only briefly.

New Zealand's Olympic team uniform has been unveiled for the London 2012 Games - officially.

Earlier today Fairfax Media revealed an embarrassing online gaffe, which prematurely showed the Olympic uniform on the Rodd & Gunn website - hours ahead of an evening cocktail function in Auckland involving Prime Minister John Key.

The page, which featured New Zealand Olympic Committee chef de mission Dave Currie, was quickly taken down and a video interview with designer Irena Prikryl was also pulled this afternoon.

Spokesperson for the NZOC, Ashley Abbott, said the page was viewed 17 times - while the web company who prepared the page had been testing it.
"I'm absolutely not concerned. It's a lucky coincidence for a proud Kiwi buying our supporters' gear," Abbott said.

Tonight the retro-look collection, which took 18 months to design and produce, was officially unveiled, inspired by the clothing worn by Kiwi athletes who attended the last London Olympiad in 1948.

Athletes past and present, including Mahe Drysdale and Sarah Ulmer, had a hand in designing both formal and casual items with the intention of recognising New Zealand's sporting past.

But unlike 64 years ago when just seven Kiwi athletes travelled to the Olympics by boat, this time around 200 New Zealand competitors will get to don the prestigious threads.

The most obvious reference to the 1948 acknowledgement is white piping along the edges of blazers.

The rest of the monochrome collection also shares a strong connection to the look and feel of the late 40's and early 1950's.

A total of 20,000 items have been created for the New Zealand Olympic team which will include up to 200 athletes and 100 support staff.

For the first time the athlete uniform features a t-shirt designed by a member of the New Zealand public.

A FASHIONISTA'S VERDICT

by India Lopez

Some people count down to the opening ceremony, some hold out for the 100m sprint, and others can't get enough of the gymnastics.

But for the more sartorially inclined among us, the real highlight of the Olympics comes weeks before the games kick-off, when the New Zealand team's uniforms are unveiled.

If you took great pleasure in tearing designers to shreds in previous years, you might be in for a disappointment. The 2012 uniforms, designed by Rodd & Gunn, are nothing if not tasteful.

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Designer Irena Prikryl stuck to a safe black-and-grey colour scheme, with classic shirts and trousers for the men and demure A-line dresses for the women. Both genders have black blazers with white piping.

The silhouette is decidedly old-fashioned - you'd be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a photo of the 1960 Olympic team.

As any fashionista worth their salt knows, '60s style is in vogue, thanks largely to the success of US TV show Mad Men.

And it's no surprise the ever-preppy Rodd & Gunn has taken a classic approach.

The dresses are pretty and flattering, and the men's ensembles are thoroughly inoffensive.

But are "pretty" and "inoffensive" really the messages New Zealand wants to convey at a gathering of the world's most supreme athletes?

Will the team be lauded for their fashion nous, or mistaken for time travellers from half a century ago? Let the debate begin.

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