Combat Rocks!..A Brief Fashion history of  Khaki and Camouflage

Combat Rocks!..A Brief Fashion history of Khaki and Camouflage

July 22, 2018

Hello Guys,

Another week gone! We have been busy at Alt Finery....unpacking some Great new clothes from labels G.H Bass and Co. and Van Heusen.  Lots of Awesome guys shirts and some really Amazing Army Jackets from the U.S. I'm pretty partial to an Army jacket...a hang over from Punk rock days, when the Army Disposal shop in Russell Street was my one stop fashion shop.

Anyways, it got me wondering about the history pf Khaki and Camouflage and how it first came into being, and then diffused into everyday fashion.

Camouflage has a really interesting history. The word "Camouflage" derived from French Slang, from the words "Camouflier" (to Veil or Disguise) and "Camouflet" ( to blow smoke in ones Face") The French Military were the first ones to develop Camouflage in 1915 by employing Artists as Camouflage Officers otherwise known as "Les Camoufleurs" They began with 30 Artists, and by the end of the war effort in WW1 had expanded to over 3,000 Artists. They hand painted fabric for Uniforms and painted Massive canvas Screens to hide whole Military Camps. By the end of the war it was estimated that 7 Million square yards of fabric was used.

The first Camo Print!

The Camouflage print was developed further in the Mid !8th Century by rifle units in the army to make them unseen in the environments they were hiding in. This was adapted differently from Jungle to desert environments. 

Khaki was developed as a colour around this time. British and Indian troops used Tea, curry powder and Mud to Dye their uniforms to create a more standardised Military uniform for all the Soldiors from the different regions.Khaki actually comes from the Urdu word meaning "Dust"

The nature of Camo print and Khaki, to hide or disguise also made it perfect for subversive activity, meaning youth gangs and political movements have been wearing Camouflage and Khaki since the 60s. In England, it was the Mods, wearing Army jackets and Hippies adopting the Camo and Khaki fashions from cheap Army surplus stores.

Mod Fashion

Alt Finery Army Jacket • Khaki

Since, Camo and Khaki have worked their way thru Punk and Hip Hop Culture, where it got reworked with Bright Colours and Pattern

into High Fashion in the late 90s/ Early 2000s.

Now it seems like Camo and Khaki have become a fashion staple. Army pants or cargo Pants have become as common as denim jeans for pants, and the army jacket seems to be pulled out every winter. Camo is reworked every season in an ironic way....See Alt Sequin Camo.

Alt Finery Sequin Bomber Jacket

Alt Finery Cargo Pants

Me....... I just love the pockets!

Have a Great week!

Cheers Sam xx






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