ARMY vs NAVY
"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." - Douglas MacArthur
Anytime I see military apparel I'm tranformed back to a little boy playing with plastic green army men. As an adult I have gained an appreciation for the form and function of the design as well as the practical use of materials, colours and patterns. Though there are many brands that offer military inspired pieces in their collections, few are able to compare with the authenticity that Carhartt achieves. A couple weeks back I stopped by the Carhartt WIP store on Earlham Street in Covent Garden and saw what I now know is their Military Program. The rugged yet clean look and high-quality of the garments are as you'd expect from the European line of the brand.
This season’s military program, marked by the new military woven label, is a collection reimagined from the early days of Work In Progress. It features classic tear-resistant fabrics and robust utilities as well as new seasonal camouflage patterns and military greens, merging durability and style in garments for men and women and a sought out range of accessories.
With my family's history in the US Navy I have no desire for anything that represents the other six uniformed services of the United States*. This is reflected in my choice of favourite pieces above, though I rate all of the collection very highly.
*For the first time ever I may have to reconsider! I confess I check the Pleasures store on a daily basis and need to be careful not to overexpose them on the blog, but honestly they are pushing all my buttons. Their Spring 2017 collection has dropped and I knew if I didn't get this post published quick most of it would be sold out before anyone had a chance to check it out. Having used the image of Icelandic recording artist Björk in their Hypebeast capsule recently, here they've payed homage to her song 'Army Of Me' from her 1995 album 'Post'.
I honestly don't know what the burning building represents and fear if I DM them on Instagram to ask I may bet reported for constant harrassment.
"War is hell. Hollywood fantasizes about it and makes it look good... war sucks." - Chris Kyle
In no way shape or form is it my intention to glamorise war, I've used a couple quotes in this post to reflect that. I have the utmost respect for all those that have served and continue to do so for our way of life and freedom. I've had my eye on a book called 'Military Style Invades Fashion' by Timothy Godbold with the intention of adding knowledge to my love for the aesthetic. Having spent six years as senior designer at Ralph Lauren the man's certainly qualified to speak on this.
The transformation of military clothing into popular retail fashion has a long history. In fact, the designs of some of today's most popular styles, worn for the most peaceful purposes, actually originated in clothing intended for warfare. In a campaign to dress well, combat and battle rarely, if ever, enter the picture. This book celebrates the enduring appeal of military-inspired clothing and acts as a reference guide and source of inspiration for designers and fashion followers alike.
Though I'm particularly drawn to Carhartt due to their US military designs, there is no doubt that Maharishi is the authority in global military fashion. I'm absolutely fascinated by the process Maharishi put their military suprlus garments through. Each item is smudged with herbal incense, blessed, and washed in saffron water to symbolically cleanse it of its military associations. You can read more by clicking the link.