Camo: the print that never goes out of style

Ironically, the best way to stand out this season is in camouflage, AKA camo: the print that was born to blend in. Most trends come and go, but camo is definitely one that’s gone the distance. For as long as we can remember, it’s remained firmly on our radar – popping up in Kate Kate Middleton’s off-duty style file, on Madonna at The Met Ball, and in our fave Pharrell film clips.

But how much do you really know about this iconic print? The camouflage pattern has a longer (and cooler) backstory than you may have realised – here are a few lesser known chapters in its history.

Original camo was a case of art vs. science

The original camo print was created in the 1920s for stealth, and borrowed heavily from Cubist painting techniques. Artists such as Grant Wood and Jacques Villon were enlisted to create even trickier designs to fool the eye – and from there, even behavioral psychologists and neuroscientists were enlisted to create increasingly deceptive visual designs. If you thought those splotches of colour were random and accidental, think again.

Camo first hit our wardrobes in the psychedelic sixties

Intended to hide locations and equipment, camo was never designed for the fashion arena – yet in the 1960s, it found its way into mainstream wardrobes, especially in the USA. Maybe it was an act of rebellion against the military, or maybe all the combat campaigns flooding the media subconsciously started influencing style. It could have also just boiled down to the fact camo was cheap, warm and easily available from army surplus stores. Whatever the reason, this tough look started trending – and once Mick Jagger started flaunting camo, there was no stopping the revolution.