The Now: Camouflage Print

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Camouflage has taken over runways, sidewalks and retail chains like the Gap.

Why does the pattern work so well? Let’s take a closer look at THE fashion trend of 2012.

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If you’ve ever visited Brooklyn or Harlem, you’ve definitely seen a G or two sporting an army fatigue jacket or camouflage cargo pants. But how did this hood staple become mass media’s favorite trend?

Legendary Japanese brand BAPE brought camo to the forefront in 2004. Celebs like Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West and Jermaine Dupri pioneered the look in popular culture. But we can take it back even further.

The late Biggie Smalls was often spotted wearing an army fatigue jacket. And Uptown fly boy Camron gained notoriety for rocking pink camo back in his heyday. Wayne immortalized BAPE’s camo look (from boxers to hoodie) when he covered VIBE in 2006. Now, camo has been spotted on everyone from Rihanna (seen sporting a camo coat that doubles as a sleeping bag) to fashion icon of the moment ASAP Rocky.

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 Camo’s versatility makes it essential.

Since camouflage is, literally, “camouflage,” it is easy to pair with pretty much any other print. From florals, to lace, plaid, tribal and stripes; the look is chameleon to most style situations. The military’s favorite look works everywhere from the office to the nightclub. A timeless pattern with a rugged feel, it can add an edge to any look.

Right now it’s kinda cool to wear trap hats, studs, and camo of course. Hipsters, known for having a deliberately unpolished look, were early adopters of this camouflage trend. Now that everyone wants to be a hipster, the ruffled look it has become impossible to ignore.

Today’s current trends are all about mixing prints and adapting a disheveled look. One that suggests the fashionista/o didn’t take too much time thinking about their outfit. Camouflage could never feel forced… Until now.

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Seriously, it’s all camo everything. Mark McNairy created a pair of wool camo pants as a part of the GQ x Gap collaboration. He also released a pair of camo saddle shoes, the perfect mix of class and street. LL Bean had a tote bag. Topshop designed multiple pieces in the popular camo print. GAP released tees, pants and even a calf hair tote with neon accents. Even Tommy Hilfiger is experimenting with the look.

Like the leather craze that’s currently sweeping high fashion, Camo’s appeal is driven by the rock star edge it can add to any look. And it’s been proven to work on any article. Cargo pants, army jackets, duffle bags, hats and bowties all stand out in camo. But when mixed with the ephemeral styles of the moment, camo’s low key brilliance loses its luster. For example, a studded sneaker wedge in camo is not as appealing as a camo Converse Chuck Taylor because you’re mixing a timeless print with a style that has an expiration date. Too much of this could kill the fatigue look for good.

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Camo’s run may be nearing it’s end. But before it get’s there, we all owe the hipsters and NY dope boys a sincere thank you for the swag.

Camo or not, you still can’t see us.

 

- Silent G.

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