Estonia's Olympic Uniform Gets Thumbs Down From Pundits (4)
The parade uniform worn by Estonia's Olympics delegation during the opening ceremony in London on Friday has caused a stir among sports journalists and bloggers, but probably not of the kind designers were hoping for.
"Remember that line from 'Airplane' about it being a bad week to stop sniffing glue? About those uniforms from Estonia …," seasoned US sportswriter and veteran Olympics reporter Alan Abrahamson wrote on his Twitter page.
The look, created by designer Kaire Kivari, was inspired both by a traditional, Kihnu island folk pattern and by old-school sportswear, the Estonian Olympic Committee (EOC) said when the uniforms were unveiled in April.
The collection is based on the colors of the Estonian flag - blue, black and white - but livened up by the bright orange accent often used in the Kihnu pattern, Kivari said, noting that the central element of the collection is the silver jacket.
It was this same element, however, that drew fire from many observers.
A blogger writing on sbsports.com, for one, said they "appeared to be microwavable jackets you can also use to cook vegetables."
Likewise, featured columnist Adam Hirshfield, writing in the US-based Bleacherreport.com, listed it among the 17 worst outfits of the night.
"I'll give you credit, Estonia. You've brought us into the future of Olympic gear. But this is a future I don't want to be a part of. These jackets look like Marty McFly's outfit from 'Back to the Future II.' Or they may simply be leftovers from the Estonian Winter Olympic uniforms in Vancouver. Or maybe they're surplus from the Estonian army," he wrote.
Mart Siimann, head of the EOC, said at the time of their unveiling that the uniforms had achieved general public approval and that Estonian athletic uniforms had always been well received internationally.