Peter Saville designs new England shirt

England’s footballers will be wearing a new home shirt for their European Championship qualifier against Bulgaria on September 3, featuring graphics designed by Peter Saville

England’s footballers will be wearing a new home shirt for their match against Bulgaria on September 3, with graphics designed by Peter Saville

Given the team’s pathetic performance over the summer it’s perhaps not the best time to be asking long-suffering fans to shell out £49.99 for yet another new kit. In the accompanying press blurb, manufacturers Umbro say that the design “takes its inspiration from the more formal classic shirts of England’s footballing past. Umbro has developed a new longer, more open neckline for the shirt, building on the square neckline that was designed for the away shirt but allowing additional movement across the chest, keeping its shape especially when a player is running.”

Saville’s contribution is somewhat minimalist. A graphic of multicoloured crosses sits on the shoulders which is, apparently, “evocative of the basting stitches synonymous with bespoke tailoring”. They are also meant to represent the diverse nature of modern English society, which should give the Daily Mail plenty to get its teeth into.

UPDATE: We will post an in-depth interview with Saville about the shirt following Friday’s game (this is now up, here). However, here are a few extra details that may answer some of the questions raised in the comments:

To those complaining that he “did nothing”, Saville’s brief from Umbro was strictly confined. He was asked to suggest some ways in which colour could be incorporated into the design of the shirt (the basic look and shape of which had already been determined) while still keeping it predominantly white.

To those of you complaining that the design won’t be visible from the stands… that’s kind of the point. It looks all white from a distance, then the detail is revealed close-up.

Saville’s proposal was that the pattern of crosses would cover the entire shirt and not just the shoulders.

A number of different geometric forms were considered by Saville and Paul Barnes, who worked with him on the project, based on the micro dots and other symbols that some menswear designers have been incorporating into their fabrics. Among the shapes considered was a plus sign, which Barnes then suggested could be transformed into the St George’s cross.

We will be talking to Saville about his contribution to the shirt later this week, in the meantime here he is in an Umbro video about the project



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