Commonwealth Games swimwear's fashion fail
The swimsuit designs for Australia's Commonwealth Games team have attracted international scrutiny for drawing too much attention to athletes' crotches.PT1M3S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3bcib 620 349 July 4, 2014
Australia's Commonwealth Games swim team revealed their new uniforms to concerns the kit draws attention to exactly the wrong area: the athletes' crotches.
Designed by Speedo, the women's one-piece cossie and towel feature haphazardly overlapping yellow and green kangaroos, emus and maps of Australia.
There are also green and black wetsuits, sleeveless for women and long shorts for men. The suits appear to have extra material or stitching in a broad triangle around the crotch area.
Brittany Elmslie, Melanie Schlanger, Bronte Barratt and Cameron McEvoy pose with the new costume. Photo: Getty Images
Brisbane-based stylist Di Cant told The Scotsman the kit was terribly obvious, but her problem was the awkward looking wetsuits that drew "the eye to the wrong place".
“My main issue is with the green and black suits and the emphasis on the crotch,” Ms Cant said. “The shaping in the crotch and with the black leg, something is not quite flattering. It is drawing the eye to the wrong place, rather than to the athletic body and the overall look.”
Mark Ferguson, director of Australian men’s tailoring firm Wil Valor, agreed with Ms Cant. He told the Scottish newspaper the designers had tried to be different and it had not paid off.
Bright and colourful: Melanie Schlanger at the Team Speedo uniform launch. Photo: Getty Images
The green and gold suits have been criticised by editor-in-chief of Scottish fashion site Crave. Ruth Walker told The Scotsman. She said the design flattens the chest and draws more attention to the swimmers' broad shoulders.
"I’d prefer to see the legs cut higher and more substantial straps – those skinny things say ‘beach’ not ‘world-beating athlete’ to me. But that retro print – I rather like it.”
Ms Walker described the criticism as a "stooshie over nothing", explaining the point of this kind of swimwear was to enable speed rather than reach for aesthetic perfection.
Bronte Barratt likes the new costume. Photo: Getty Images
“My attention is drawn not to the V-shape mapped out in green and black, but the strength of those shoulders as they power through the pool,” Ms Walker said.
Most importantly, the Australian swim team appear excited about the costumes.
Freestyler Bronte Barratt said she thought the team would look great, especially with their gold swim cap.
“The colours seem good, they’re majority green instead of majority black which is really good because that represents Australia," Ms Barrat said.
Olympic gold medal winner Melanie Schlanger was featured in the cosutme reveal and tweeted how much she liked the new look.
Australia's Commonwealth Games fashion has always been hit or miss. In 1998 the team wore yellow overcoats and Akubra hats. This year, when not near the pool, the swim team will sport the team-wide uniform of grey pants, or green and yellow skirts and jackets with enthusiastically triangular lapels.
Elle Australia deputy editor Damien Woolnough loathed the uniforms, adding they were a reminder of why Olympians performed naked.