New England Kit: Peter Saville


“Have you seen the back of it? It looks like a baby grow!” (Robbie Savage on Football Focus. Saturday 4th of September 2010)

Now Robbie Savage has never really been the purveyor of quality. What with his hair cuts and his lack of style on the field he cannot really criticise the great Peter Saville. Or can he? If you watched Footie Focus on Saturday you will also have heard his comments about John Toshack. By Monday John Toshack was leaving the Wales job. Maybe it isn’t just the haircut. Maybe he really should own a caravan and a crystal ball? Maybe we should be careful what we say about old Robbie.

Anyway, back to the new kit. It was unveiled the previous evening at Wembley where the England team beat a very average Bulgaria 4-0. At first glance I liked it. I like the blue shorts with the white top. I like the uncluttered look that the kit has. It was not until I heard Robbies comments and looked up the design on the web that I actually realised that there were little kisses/crosses on the back of the shirt. Who is responsible for that? Well, only the great Peter Saville. A man who’s work I have been brought up with. From Joy Division to New Order I have loved his designs. The whole aesthetics of Factory Records is down to him. So, how could I not love his new kit? Well, actually I do like it. I agree a little bit with what Robbie has said but on closer examination I think it has something. If you read the explaination at Creative Review you will see that Peter Saville didn’t really get a lot of say in the whole design. The England kit is the England kit. Its white and it has a badge about here. What else is there? So the little crosses are his idea. From a distance you cannot see them so the kit looks like the usual England kit. What do they represent?

"Like a baby grow!"

New England Kit

“A vehicle of cultural provocation” according to Peter Saville. Let me explain. The little kisses/crosses represent the cross on the flag of St George but instead of all being red they are multi-coloured to represent our “rainbow” society. Minimal and discreet are the words used to describe the effect. Peter Savilles original design had them all over the kit. Umbro decided to just put them on the shoulders and across the back. If you apply a players name to your kit the discreetness will become invisibleness as you will hardly see them at all. There has been quite a bit of opposition to the kit and to the idea of changing the colour of the St George. I quite like it but its not really ground breaking is it? When Viv Anderson made his debut in an England Shirt someone sent him bullets in the post saying his name was on one of them. Surely 30 years later as Defoe scores a hat-trick we don’t need to be so obvious. Or do we? There are still those who hide behind the cross of St George as some sort of sign of all white Englishness. Maybe we still do need to provoke people so that we don’t become complacent of a time when black players were booed when playing for England. It’s not that long ago. I like Peter Savilles design. Maybe because I love his art work for Factory or maybe because his kit is saying something about our nation. Just don’t get me started about playing on a Friday night or Ashley Coles funny blue leg!

What do you think? Read the explaination by Peter Saville at Creative Review and let us know. or comment below.






By peter on September 7, 2010

Check out all the pics

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