Friday, 9 August 2013

today i love... camouflage print

Like many good trends, this one started with Christopher Kane. The designer, quickly becoming one of the most influential at LFW, showed camouflage in a whole new light in his A/W'13 collection: it was utterly sophisticated. Once the preserve of 90s girl band All Saints (if you're not familiar, check out Never Ever - great song), until recently the associations I had with this print were less than good: festivals, people who have slicked back hair and hoop earrings, combat trousers, crop tops and Rihanna wannabes (sorry, but Rihanna is no fashion icon to me). But then again that's precisely what I love so much about fashion: its ability to completely transform the connotations of a trend. It's happened more often than we can count in recent years, when the previously unthinkable has become supremely fashionable: midi skirts, kitten heels, white shoes... need I go on? Mind you, the power of camo can't be attributed solely to Kane: my ultimate favourite high street brand Whistles also deserves some of the credit. I read recently that they actually prefer to be referred to as a "contemporary" brand rather than a high street one, whatever that means, but perhaps that's fair, because they're not copying catwalk trends like many budget stores do. Whistles showed at LFW, meaning that they couldn't possibly have been influenced by Kane. Their amazingly chic camo print is all their own invention. It's safe to say I'm totally obsessed with the entire Whistles A/W'13 lookbook - seriously, I find myself poring longingly over its pages all the time - and the camo print is partly at fault. There is a particularly divine and utterly chic camo parka which will be on sale soon, and I never, ever thought I'd be lusting after a camo parka. I was in Topshop Oxford Circus today and made a beeline, as I usually do, straight for the Boutique section, where I was greeted with the sight of some simply amazing silk camouflage dresses. I tried the above one on, and I loved it, but I didn't so much love the price, so we'll wait and see on that one. In the meantime I'll be staring wistfully at the above pieces, and no doubt investing in at least one of them. Just remember that it's still easy to get it wrong with camo, so stick to Whistles and Net-a-porter rather than River Island and New Look.

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