Great Britain, we got our satisfaction.
On 12 August our eyes were fixated on the telly with a front row seat to the most badass show ever. That grand finale-ceremony-concert-catwalk reminded the world that Britain is more than MINI Coopers and 007s and football. (All great things. Don’t get us wrong. We’re also avid fans of the Bard, HP Sauce, and eating our lunch off the daily newspaper.) The Closing Ceremonies officially staked Britain’s claim in global culture’s greatest revolutions from last half century.
Why didn’t we realize it before? We don’t know. But to see everything at once – a summation of British royalty in the form of artists, performers, anthems, and icons – was impactful beyond words.
In times of change, Britain’s music and fashion have not only been inseparable, they have been at their very best. If the nation has a soundtrack, then it’s rock and roll and soul and steeped in more “yeah” than “yes.” If it has a uniform, it’s red and white and blue and caked in music festival mud and glam makeup. Britain’s subtle tweaks to music and fashion have long riffed on the norm and reflected a culture keen on pushing boundaries.
Where would we be without those Liverpool boys and that punk-rock revival? Would we have gotten love beads and Lycra and lyrics that – as proven in that packed Stratford stadium – make a universe come together?
We don’t know. We don’t want to know. And thanks to this stalwart isle reigning down fashion ideologies left, right, and center with the sheet music to match we won’t have to. Ever.
The following morning, London folk with their arms crossed and heads nodding pleasantly made conversation with out-of-towners: “Yeah, yeah, we did quite a good job of it now, didn’t we?” They were a bit in awe themselves—truly a moment for Britain to stand tall while the rest of the world recognized who put the “great” our collective greatest hits.
Digging Jamaica? Visit the 100m Shop and get your jerk-reggae-patois-sunshine fix. (Sunscreen recommended.)
(Photograph: MINI by PUMA’s autumn/winter 2012 collection)