October 7, 2008

Is this the best kit ever?


The Guardian's Mikey Stafford today poses the question 'Is this the worst kit ever?', referring to Parisian rugby club Stade Français' new third kit. Pardon me, Mikey, but you're way off.

This may be the greatest kit ever because it's practically an anti-kit. None of your hoops or quarters or swooshy nonsense. No changing the width of the piping on the sleeves and breathlessly selling it as THE BRAND NEW JERSEY. If you're going to charge €75 for a replica shirt, the very least you can do is subvert the entire concept of sports apparel with a pop-art portrait of a 13th century French queen.



Stade's maverick ways are also in evidence with their home and away jerseys: the former adorned with images of pretty pink flowers of some kind (botany ain't my strong suit), the latter ditching the home shirt's coyness and just letting the pinkness all hang out (that's not a euphemism, by the way). It also has some lightning bolts emanating from the crest which look unfortunately like stink-lines - but such an error of judgement serves only as a contrast, highlighting the brilliance of Stade's attire. It's sometimes hard to believe that rugby union is barely a decade removed from amateurism, with its doggedly functional jerseys, so heavy they were used to weigh down prisoners in parts of the world where police forces couldn't afford handcuffs. Now, it's stepping into the sort of avant-garde territory which even the bravest of soccer kit designers of the early '90s dared not approach.

Also, the idea of a sport wrapped up in a self-image of rampant heterosexuality being confronted with the type of kit which could be specifically designed to annoy the hell out of many of its practitioners is somewhat pleasing.

3 comments:

Steve October 8, 2008 at 2:40 PM  

Rattling the rugby cage a little are we?

Stink lines -- he he. That's a truly inspired interpretation.

Fredorrarci October 9, 2008 at 1:22 AM  

I like watching rugby on TV, though I've never played it or been to a game. It's just that all of the biggest jock types at my school were rugby players, and I bet that at least one of them has been on a stag weekend in Amsterdam and snuck away from their friends to an S&M dungeon to be spanked by a burly begimpmasked Dutchman called Rudi. Not for nothing does the term 'rugger bugger' exist. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

Steve October 10, 2008 at 2:57 PM  

I see one of the classic Seinfeld references made it across the pond. Despite my attempts to take in cultural morsels from the other direction, I often fall short. Rugger bugger I may have heard, but begimpmasked Dutchman is a new one. I have a picture in my head what such a fellow may look like, but don't know if it's right. And Google was no help.

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