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. scienceThe 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 sixtiesIntended 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.
‘90s rappers took camo to the streets
Hip-hop and rap royalty were the next to embrace camo, led by the likes of Biggie and Wu-Tang Clan. From there, it was only a matter of time before camo exploded onto city streets, with military jackets and camo print cargo pants becoming the unofficial uniform of cool kids around the world.
It was subway one day, runway the next
It didn’t take designers like John Galliano, Anna Sui and Comme Des Garcons long to pick up on the popularity of camo. The first time it appeared on the runway, camo just kept coming at us, and the fashion world really started to have some fun. Over the years we’ve seen camo in some seriously unexpected places (camo wedding gown, anyone?), and some distinctly un-camo shades (think hot pink and bright orange). In the words of 70’s Vogue, camo print is a ‘functional, practical, good looking print and just as wearable as the everyday blue jean.’ So, if this epic print isn’t a staple in your wardrobe, why not? To ramp up the camo factor in your activewear, head over to our new collection.
Stay in touch,
THE UPSIDE x