Telegraph Men 3 Ways to Wear…Camo
A quick glance at recent catwalk creations from the likes of Balmain, Givenchy, Valentino and Oliver Spencer, show that the burgeoning trend for camouflage print is gaining ground. Yes, many expected this rough-and-tough military print to last a season or two before fading into the back of our wardrobes but ‘camo’ is flourishing right across Spring Summer 2014 collections, so much so, that many now actually consider camo to be a new neutral.
With this current camo trend evolution, it’s now less about making a statement and more about innovating with abstract and digital print techniques. If, strange as it may sound, camo is your blank canvas, then the secret to wearing the trend this season is layering other prints, such as florals, over camo to produce counter-intuitive, eye-catching designs. Over at Givenchy for Spring, for example, the wild and eclectic mixing of camo, blooms and colour sets the pace for the season and gives zeitgeists a sign-post towards bringing this look bang up-to-date.
A host of designers are reinterpreting military-issue print by tweaking patterns, scales and colour combos. Whether it’s the main attraction or just an accent, camo has certainly found a whole new lease of life away from the battlefield popping up on everything from biker jackets to dress shirts and right across a range of accessories. LA-based ‘Citizens of Humanity’ works the military print into a perfectly pursued pair of tapered cotton trousers in its ‘Sid Sahara’ jeans (£265, www.harveynichols.com). Prada keep it incognito with a pair of square frame sunglasses in tonal black camo (£205).
Meanwhile, over at Marc by Marc Jacobs, the hottest new must-have iPad/laptop carrier is the cheeky blue/green camo printed shopper (£200, www.stylebop.com) offering the subtlest of leather finishing touches. Valentino is nailing the look with the strident use of camouflage in a bold olive, brown, black and orange combination in a sporty windbreaker (£970, www.stylebop.com).
While it all might feel so refreshingly new we shouldn’t forget where we saw it first time round. The great Andy Warhol’s playful take on camouflage in Sixties pop colours is often credited with making fashion first sit up and take note of just how versatile defense dress can be. Today, re-working camo with a palette of high-octane shades creates an amped up version, fusing utilitarian with futuristic – the sartorial equivalent of the modern Smeg fridge freezer.
So think again if you think camouflage is about remaining hidden. In the urban jungle, where parrot plumes and neon throwbacks are the norm, you can step sharply back into focus this season by adding a little camouflage to your daily dress.
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Darren Kennedy is a television presenter, broadcaster & fashion journalist. See Darren presenting weekdays on ITV’s This Morning and keep up with him on Twitter @DarrenKen.