And the gold medal for worst Olympic outfits goes to Great Britain! Boris Johnson apologises to 2012 volunteers as he unveils garish purple uniforms (and let's not even mention the silly hats…)Volunteers give mixed reviews, with one female Ambassador complaining of 'big pink bra' effect
15:20 GMT, 16 March 2012
He's a man who likes to stand out from the crowd.
But even Boris Johnson looked as if he'd met his match with the new Olympic uniform – featuring a rather eye-catching shade of shocking pink.
Unveiling the flamboyant outfits yesterday, the London Mayor said they were 'striking' but said apologetically to volunteers, 'I hope you don't feel too ridiculous'.
He donned one of the enormous fleeces to meet 30 of London's 8,000 Olympic ambassadors, who will be wearing the uniform to greet visitors to the summer games.
Britain's next top model Boris Johnson gathered 30 Team London Ambassadors together this morning to showcase the new uniform
They consist of a pink and purple polo shirt with matching fleece and rucksack as well as a straw trilby hat with pink ribbon.
Greeting the volunteers at Wimbledon
Station in South London, he said: 'What do you think of the uniform
It's quite striking isn't it. I hope you don't feel too ridiculous.
'You are the ambassadors and you have to greet everybody when they come to London.
'What we need to do is to overcome our natural British reserve and be a little bit more like the Australians.'
The ensembles are based on on the
Olympic logo, which cost 400,000 to design but was lambasted by MPs as
'childish' when it was unveiled in 2007.
Magenta, one of the official Olympic
colours, has been chosen as the 'way-finding' colour and will also
feature on signposts for the games.
Hats off! The uniform – a loose tracksuit top and matching poloshirt – comes with a beige trilby trimmed with a pink ribbon
Mr Johnson added: 'I think the uniforms are beautiful. I have a rucksack in the same livery but it's not the same style.
'Whoever designed it needs a prize. It's very striking. It's positive. It's optimistic.'
Asked whether he'd be wearing his
uniform to the games, he added: 'I wouldn't rule it out. I have a fleece
already but this could be a good replacement.
'It's in extremely good taste and style, and typical of London.'
The uniforms were received with brave
faces from the Olympic ambassadors, who will be working as volunteers
during the games to help visitors navigate London.
The volunteers will be stationed at
key points in the city such as airports and tourist attractions to give
directions and advice.
Andy Von Hirshberg, 29, a brand
manager from London, said: 'The uniforms are interesting. I was a little
surprised at first saw them, but at least we'll stand out. I can live
with wearing pink and purple for a week.'
visible: 8,000 people have volunteered to be London Ambassadors, to be
stationed at pods across the capital to welcome visitors and direct them
around the city – and the Olympics committee wanted them to be easy to
Danielle Holdsworth, 41, a marketing
manager from London, added: 'This is the first time we've seen the
uniforms, and they're certainly bright. They are quite out there, but we
as ambassadors need to be out there so it's totally the right thing to
London Ambassador Barbara Edwards, 65, said: ‘I like the trilby hat as it suits both men and women and will be useful to have as we will be outside a lot of the time in the sun. The black bottoms are also practical and sensible. I don’t mind the purple and the pink as you need to be visible and stand out and they’ve obviously taken some of the logo colours.
'But while the shirt is fine on the men, it gives a 'big pink bra' effect on the women, which isn’t particularly flattering and will be more noticeable on ladies with a larger bust.'
It's that way! Boris tries out one of the Ambassadors' information pods for size
The ambassadors were selected from
more than 30,000 applicants and are aged between 14 and 85, speaking 40
languages between them.
Organisers said they were looking for people with good communication skills as well as knowledge of the city.
They will volunteer for a maximum of five hours per shift and up to six consecutive days.
Controversial: The London 2012 logo drew criticism for being gaudy and puerile
Also unveiled yesterday was the
design for the Olympic information kiosks – also in shocking pink –
which will be stationed at 43 locations in the city.
Both have been designed by M
Integrated Solutions, based on guidelines set out by the the London
Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
The mixed response echoes the public reaction to the controversial London 2012 logo after it was unveiled in 2007.
At the time, the London Olympic committee came under fire for approving the over-the-top design, which drew fierce criticism for being garish and 'childish.'
Contemporary British designers were
near-unanimous in their disapproval of the logo, describing it as
'confusing' and 'embarrassing'.
Stephen Bayley, founder of the Design Museum, said it was 'a puerile mess, an artistic flop and a commercial scandal.'
A two week public exhibition has opened at City Hall to give a taste of how London will look and feel during Games time.
The exhibition will feature examples
of the colourful dressing and bunting that will be on display throughout
the city, plus a number of examples of how high streets and towns will
be getting involved with the celebrations.