The All Stars game is a great concept and perfect pre-season entertainment just before the NRL kicks off on 5 March. Pitting a team of players with Aboriginal Australian descent against a squad voted for by fans, it makes for a cracking game and of course some wonderful jerseys.
BLK has some form with creating eye-catching jerseys that incorporate aspects of Aboriginal art and culture, and so it’s no surprise to see the Indigenous All Stars’ jersey is a feast for the senses. This one is probably the most striking and successful one yet – cramming in more ideas on to one shirt than we’ve ever seen before.
Elaborate dot paintings take in all manner of shapes, patterns and colours, while elsewhere there’s room for just about every aspect of aboriginal culture you can think of: boomerangs, check; snake, check; human footprints, check; animal footprints, check… and then there’s a big-ass rugby ball on the back.
Black sleeves and panels frame whole extravaganza and give you a hint as to what the base colour of the shirt is, but this is missing the point. The shirt is a celebration, a visual feast and easily one of the most bonkers and brilliant things you’re ever likely to see a professional sportsman wear. We adore it.
How do you compete with that? Well, obviously there’s no way the fan-picked NRL All Stars shirt could quite live up to the remarkable design of the Indigenous jersey, but that’s not to say they’ll be wearing something from the charity shop – this is still a cool, interesting design in its own right.
Again BLK have come up trumps with this blue number with gold trim and white side and neck panels. The main pattern nods to the classic league chevron but incorporates it into a design that evokes futuristic armour or some sort of body-building robot, with bold lines making the chest stand out and giving the jersey a chiselled, muscular feel.
The party continues on the arms and lower back, while we really like the light gold chevrons on the side panels. Though not nearly as ostentatious as its opponent, it’s still a bold, ridiculous jersey that captures our eyes and heart with its opulence.
Occasions such as this are a chance for kit suppliers to really go all out and push their design limits. BLK has undeniably risen to the occasion here, creating two incredibly striking shirts that, while wildly different, both appeal on their own merits. Let’s hope the game is half as good as the jerseys.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: ALL STAR