So here I am today with another Autumn/Winter trend that is a hit or miss to take off. There were certainly signs that it could be pushed this season, with many of the premium designers getting on board early. Today I will be previewing the camouflage trend which has seemed to sneak up on us quietly, like the soldiers who wear it.
Camouflage is not a new pattern to most of you, and either way you will have your own opinions about how it looks within your outfits. Personally – before I saw a lot of the runway photos – I associated it with really young males (say 14-17) and the standard wear for a lot of British males when it comes to wearing shorts in the Summer. Even though I was pushing for a move to plain tailored cuts and away from this pattern in S/S 10 shorts, it seems as though the print is here to stay… and probably will be for as long as war and the military are in people’s consciousness.
This season however the print seems to have developed. Prada featured an amazing long length camouflage print double breasted jacket, whilst Junya Watanabe used the print really sparingly to provide the details on his A/W collection. He featured a great camouflage print neckerchief which could be used to add some flair to an Urban Bohemian outfit, and he also lined the hoods of his military styled parkas with camouflage print. These little touches and using the print subtly are my favourite development for this season.
Of course, military is a massive trend each and every year in some form, so perhaps this was the next step for the trend. This is certainly not a print for the faint hearted, as although the print is designed in essence to make you invisible in your surroundings, it is quite the opposite when strolling around your local city. So if you were to pick up a new camo jacket, then I would plead with you to keep the rest of your outfit stripped down and neutral. Really try and hit the military trend but keep it refined as well. Black slim jeans, chunky boots and a simple plain shirt would look great against the bold pattern, whilst still retaining some sharp style and not the boyish “play dress up” feel.
Military is not the only trend that camouflage jackets and over shirts can be used in this season though. Rag and Bone below have provided us with what I feel the greatest take on the trend is this season when they styled their models in the “town meets country” trend whilst incorporating camouflage seamlessly. With roots within the military and specifically the outdoor environment, there is not a better print in order to really ram this fact home.
I can’t believe other designers (and me to be honest) hadn’t picked up on it and thought about incorporating it into the looks produced by the trend. Due to the amount of layers used in the look, it means you can blend in the print and stop it from becoming so overpowering. Layered under a gilet (as shown below) is a great way of just showing a hint of the print through the sleeves, and I even really like the camo print gilet used against the fair isle knitwear. A great job all round from the design duo who have certainly been making waves this year.
So as you can see, my favourite looks for the season are on the top row and come from Prada and Rag & Bone. Other notables included Alexander McQueen, Griffin, Bape, Junya Watanabe, Maharishi and Lanvin. All of the designers used different coloured prints and styles of camouflage, so I am hoping for some high quality high street alternatives as the season progresses.
It should be noted that some of these images are from the S/S 11 collections as well, so we might find that it is pushed harder early next year, or it gathers steam as we progress through the next 6 months.
So I have picked out some of the limited range that is available today for you to buy. I say limited because although there are probably hundreds of camo print trousers, shorts and the like around, you have to be really careful when buying a print like this because nothing looks worse than a cheap looking camouflage print. Believe me when I say that you will look like every other male with no clue in a piece like that, so stay away!
My favourite items in the print are overshirts and jackets. Of course nothing is better than getting a vintage or reclaimed garment so take a trip to your local charity and vintage shops to see what you can find. You may find a true gem of a piece in there, and what is even more great is the exclusivity and history that comes with it.
If you are still not keen on the camouflage print, take a leaf out of Junya Watanabe’s new collection and find key accessories that you can incorporate into your military and town meets country looks this year. a great camo print bag or scarf/neckerchief if you can get hold of one is a great way of adding some individuality and flair without going overboard.
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