Peer into the wardrobe of any successful dresser and you will usually find the same core of essential garments. There will be at least one little black dress, a pair of jeans that perfectly fit the owner’s proportions, a tuxedo jacket (if not a suit), a V neck cashmere sweater and a pair of comfortable heels.
To supplement these basics you must add a garment with military origins – be it a Burberry trench coat, a pair of cargo pants or a safari jacket. While the cut and style of a LBD, jeans or even a tuxedo might change slightly over the years; these sharply tailored pieces are arguably evergreen items.
For this reason investing in a luxury brand interpretation of the look makes good financial sense. It is also why fashion designers revisit this military theme. It sells, it looks good on pretty much anyone and it has a timeless quality that makes it a perpetual “go-to” garment.
In the current resort collections a number of leading brands turned to military-inspired pieces. And it will be revisited by many of the same labels again with their spring/summer 2015 runway collections, which start hitting the stores at the end of February.
A high priority on any woman’s military wish list should be a well-made trench coat. For many that means making a beeline for Burberry – and it’s true that pretty much nothing beats a bespoke Burberry trench. But for those women who already have one of these beloved classics, it might be time to expand on the idea.
For resort wear Burberry transformed its trench into an attractive button-front dress. Over at Moschino, the current white-hot designer Jeremy Scott gave the trench a quirky twist. Twin designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and billionaire fashion mogul Michael Kors used split-apart sleeves or cape-like openings to update the idea. Even the current “it-boy” designer JW Anderson got in on the action, producing a relaxed, light chocolate-brown take on the trench.
But the trench coat isn’t the only military garb being repurposed by designers this season. Cropped wide leg cargo pants showed up in the Rosie Assoulin collection. And the hallmark military feature of a big outside pocket appeared on sleek jackets on offer at Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and 3.1 Philip Lim.
Perhaps the most inventive update on the military idea came from designer Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein. His short, ribbed-knit dress with snap-closure belt and distinctive, silver metallic insert at the neckline only hinted at a military heritage. However the outfit did transmit that underlying sense of precision of form and line.
It seems that fashion brands are marching in a military direction, which should please battalions of customers as the functionality of these pieces is always useful in any woman’s sartorial arsenal.
Camouflage is getting the couture treatment from leading designers. One example can be seen at Valentino. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have transformed camouflage into elegant prints, launching a capsule line with the pattern on everything from sneakers to handbags to men’s outerwear. The designers have created the pattern using patchwork, embroidery, digital prints and appliqué fabrics.
Those wanting an under-the-radar designer take, should look to Ksenia Schnaider. The Ukrainian designer came up with Camogen, a random camouflage generator for iOS. The program generates variations of camouflage, which are then applied as the client desires.
ARMED AND GORGEOUS
For a timepiece to complete a military-inspired look Breitling has a watch that fits the bill. The Breitling Chronospace Military watch looks as kick-ass as its name suggests. Clocking in at 46mm, the black steel timepiece features a Swiss thermocompensated quartz Breitling caliber 78 movement. It has a COCS-certified chronometer with an analog 12/24 hour display. The timepiece also counts a 1/100th of a second split times chronograph and dual timezone display (with independent alarms). There is a calendar day and date feature, plus low battery indicator.