Puma’s football shirt laboratory has released it’s latest Manchester City experiment in the form of their 2020-21 third kit.
If you turned up for your science classes at school, you’ll remember the hours flying by as you gazed in wonder through the lens a microscope at the contents of a petri dish.
And in a new triumph for Puma’s Paddington-based science department, their Manchester City 3rd shirts really are a design for their age.
The paisley-patterned shirts were first discovered completely by accident by the brilliant microbiologist Sir Alexander Fleming in his laboratory at London’s St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington back in the 1920s.
Whilst Fleming is famous for revolutionising medicine by discovering penicillin, some of the discarded cultures he grew in the petri dishes around him have now inspired Manchester City’s new third kit.
Or maybe they haven’t . . .
Of course there’s a crossover between Manchester’s textile industry and the city’s musical scene to speak of here, but those Persian tear-drop print kits unveiled this week have split opinion between those who view them as a “future classic,” those who appreciate the idea but question the execution; and those who rather re-actively shout “worst kit ever” nonsense at them.
Puma’s new Manchester City 3rd kit spins a classic staple of British design, favoured by heavyweights of the Britpop era like Paul Weller and Liam Gallagher (who’s Pretty Green label adopted the print as its own) and sticks it onto a completely alternative football shirt.
The full kit is completed by navy shorts and white socks, although the club website is also selling white shorts as an option ahead of any possible kit clashes next season.
According to the club;
“The new Manchester City Third Kit celebrates the rich music and fashion culture of the city by creating a bespoke paisley pattern that features details of the club’s crest.”
“The pattern is synonymous with artists from the ‘Mod’ and the ‘Brit Pop’ eras of the 1990’s and was a staple of youth fashion in the 1960’s, influencing fashion and music culture in Manchester for generations.”
The paisley print itself traces its way back to Persia before it weaved its influence on wider UK fashion culture, having first been imitated by textile mills in the town of Paisley near Glasgow in the 19th century.
The pattern would later see a revival in the swinging ’60s silk scarves coming to be as synonymous with the mod scene as amphetamines, scooters and the Small Faces.
Remember that Mod fashion sensibilities would have preferred an RAF roundel and sneered at the naffness of taking an ancient pattern and emblazoning “Etihad Airways” right across the face of it as Puma have done here.
The denim tones of City’s away shirt, linked to bridges over Manchester’s canals have drawn instant acclaim and perhaps the intricate patterns of the 3rd top would have benefited from being a few shades darker themselves.
Better than last season’s “McDonald’s milkshake” but not as accomplished as their Haçienda tribute, at least nobody will ever forget this year’s City third shirts.
We have plenty of time for Puma’s “crafted from culture” series and the way their designers have taken influence from the city-scapes that their shirts will be worn in. Its just that they don’t always quite hit the mark.
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