At Attention: The Concealed History of Camouflage

For the past several years, camouflage has been all over the runways. But with its fashion-week popularity, many have forgotten the original intent of this season’s It print. So let’s take a look back at how camouflage made its way from the military to the masses.

What Are You Really Wearing? Camouflage

Camouflage first came about as a wearable defense tactic during WWI. At the time, French military leaders wanted to develop a uniform that would help hide their troops. So, they tapped into the creative genius of Post-Impressionist artists who used their knowledge of abstraction and color theory to come up with a design.

The end result? A countershading pattern of earth tones they called “camouflage,” meaning “disguise” in French. The wearable art proved itself a military advantage and has since become the official uniform for armed forces around the globe.

Today, wearing camouflage is, ironically, a surefire way to stand out – just be sure to rock it in eye-catching colors and textures. And because this season’s commanding officers include everyone from Michael Kors to Christopher Kane, you can bet you’ll have plenty of modern camo options.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column every Tuesday.

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