Posted on: August 3, 2022 Posted by: AKDSEO Comments: 0

With bold vests, sporty sporrans and tartan purses, it is impossible to confuse Team Scotland with the countless countries in casual tracksuits.

The dark shirts have a touch of the Edinburgh nightclub bouncer about them, but the overall effect is inviting rather than intimidating.

Eddie Ockenden and Rachael Grinham, flag bearers of Team Australia lead their team out during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games wearing uniforms by RM Williams.

Eddie Ockenden and Rachael Grinham, flag bearers of Team Australia lead their team out during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games wearing uniforms by RM Williams.Credit:Getty

Australia
With other countries’ uniforms sprinting towards athleticism and relaxed silhouettes, Australia’s blazers, ties, skirts and scarves continued our longstanding tradition of athletes entering the stadium looking like prefects from a private school.

The RM Williams boots, a first for many athletes, were worn with pride, and the green of the blazers was smartly subdued but the bright yellow ties and scarves had a whiff of discount airline about them.

The most exciting part of the uniform was the unexpected flashes of lining by queer Indigenous artist Jenna Lee.

Cameroon
Upstaging Prince Charles’ tailored suits is an accomplishment that neither Princes William nor Harry have managed, so congratulations to Team Cameroon.

Britain’s Prince Charles poses with athletes and members of the team from Cameroon.

Britain’s Prince Charles poses with athletes and members of the team from Cameroon.Credit:Getty

In traditional attire using the red, yellow and green of the Cameroon flag, with some athletes transforming the flag into headscarves, the athletes looked ready to party rather than partake in powerlifting.

Expect influencers unaware of the pitfalls of cultural appropriation to be adding this to their dream board for next year’s Splendour In The Grass.

Wales
Rivalling the popularity of the character Ness from the series Gavin & Stacey, the Welsh are known for their love of music, which seeped into the marching band-style uniforms worn by the country’s athletes.

With navy suits dominated by pointed power shoulders, dragons perched on jackets and pins of Welsh gold, the uniforms were loaded with eye-raising symbolism.

Geraint Thomas of Team Wales leads the parade in uniforms by Julien Macdonald during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games at the Alexander Stadium

Geraint Thomas of Team Wales leads the parade in uniforms by Julien Macdonald during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games at the Alexander StadiumCredit:PA

“Overall, the design is something that is very Welsh and includes many Welsh symbols and colours that represent Wales,” says designer Julien Macdonald, a favourite of Liz Hurley and Kylie Minogue. “It’s something that I’ve really enjoyed doing and, obviously, I’ve added a touch of Julien Macdonald glamour.”

The result is more Glee than gladiatorial, but points are scored for the unisex ties. Those same points are withdrawn for the sensible heels given to some female athletes.

Lesotho
The bone shorts and black shirts worn by Team Lesotho, the landlocked country encircled by South Africa, were unremarkable but their accessories game was strong.

While the beads and necklaces worn by Kenya’s female athletes immediately catch the eye, it’s the inclusivity of Team Lesotho’s hats that pushes them up the fashion medal ladder.

The athletes of Lesotho enter the stadium during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Alexander stadium in Birmingham.

The athletes of Lesotho enter the stadium during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Alexander stadium in Birmingham.Credit:AP

Athletes proudly wore the national symbol the mokorotlo, a conical straw hat inspired by Mount Qiloane, which elevated their uniforms to peak fashion.

Perhaps it’s time for Australia to dust off the Akubra.

Canada
As the birthplace of activewear, with Lululemon founded in Vancouver, and a country where cannabis is legalised, the Canadian athletes looked seriously relaxed in their black tracksuits, red T-shirts and white sneakers.

Canadian athletes enter the stadium during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Canadian athletes enter the stadium during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.Credit:AP

The outfits were designed by Kukri Sports North America but some Lululemon tights or even boxy T-shirts from rising Canadian sportswear brand Reigning Champ would have added impact to the look. This could have been the Mounties on training day.

South Africa
There is a strong gender divide between the uniforms worn by Team South Africa. In a print by young designers Sandile Sikhakhane, Mbali Zulu, Sipho Lushaba and Nompumelelo Mjadu, the male athletes resembled lost cruise ship staff in their short-sleeved shirts.

Athletes of South Africa enter the stadium during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Athletes of South Africa enter the stadium during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.Credit:AP

Durban designer Nontsasa Benstwana, who used the print, had greater success with the tiered maxi skirts and full white blouses of the women’s uniforms. The women of Team South Africa looked ready for a smart brunch while the men were prepared to pour the bottomless mimosas.

New Zealand
Coco Chanel managed to build a design empire using just black and white, but with the same palette Team New Zealand’s uniforms had all the excitement of a two-day-old lamington.

Tom Walsh, flag bearer of Team New Zealand leads the team out during the opening ceremony.

Tom Walsh, flag bearer of Team New Zealand leads the team out during the opening ceremony.Credit:Getty

The men’s suits, worn with plain white T-shirts could be a cry for help from a country that has not figured out what to wear back to the office after lockdown.

The women’s uniforms would be great behind the counter at David Jones.

With such incredible designers such as Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Wynn Hamlyn and Maggie Hewitt from Maggie Marilyn, there’s no excuse for making black this basic.

Tonga
If you can’t go nude like the Greeks at the original Olympics, we will have to settle for Tonga’s oiled-up shirtless flag bearer.

Team Tonga enter the Alexander Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

Team Tonga enter the Alexander Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.Credit:PA

Brad Pitt has some stiff competition here in how to make a skirt look masculine.

The rest of the team’s uniforms are just fine but are you really looking? We are talking about athleticism here rather than objectification.

VERDICT:

Gold: England

Silver: Tonga

Bronze: Cameroon

Get all the latest news from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games here. We’ll be live blogging the action from 4pm to 10am daily.