Can I Still Wear Army Green?


Fashion has been enamored of military style for almost its entire existence, with designers regularly taking inspiration from all branches of the armed forces, be it color, shape, print, decoration.

The associations attached to the clothes — strength, power, security, safety, aggression — are rooted deep in our lizard brains, and thus catnip for those whose job it is to read the psychological tenor of the times, and give it shape in cloth. Books and museum exhibitions have been devoted to the relationship. Simply consider the fact that the famous Burberry trench, staple of so many wardrobes today, was created for British officers during World War I before making its way into civilian life. And onto catwalks.

But there’s no question that an outfit that reads one way in peacetime (ironic, cool, rebellious) reads an entirely different way in wartime, when people in the actual garments are in harm’s way.

And seeing President Volodymyr Zelensky on the streets of his country, speaking to his citizens and the world in a military T-shirt, puts a different perspective on fashion fatigues.

During Paris Fashion Week, I asked a smattering of designers who often refer to military styles what they would advise. Most said that the absolute first thing to do was to consider the complicated reactions such clothing could provoke.

While some were reluctant to dictate the correct choice, wanting to leave it up to the individual — Olivier Rousteing, backstage at Balmain, said he thought it was important to remember how precious is the idea of creative freedom — Dries Van Noten was more definitive.

“No,” he said. “For me it’s the only answer. OK, we play with these symbols, but it has to take second place to what’s happening in the world.”

Indeed, I think it’s worth resurfacing an email I got from a veteran when a similar question about camouflage came up after the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

“I am a woman,” she wrote. “I love fashion.” But, she went on: “When you are in the military, you are instructed about wearing parts or all of your uniform after you are back in civilian life. If your service was honorable, you have earned the right to do so, but it must be done in such a way that it does not disrespect the uniform. If you are not a vet, you should not be wearing camo at all. It is akin to stolen valor.”

In clothes, as in conversation, context matters.

Every week on Open Thread, Vanessa will answer a reader’s fashion-related question, which you can send to her anytime via email or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.



Source link

Latest

Jharkhand Board Class 12th result 2022: Pass percentage improves, meet stream-wise toppers

The overall pass percentage for class 12 is 97.42...

Radio station engineers’ alleged revenge after DJs fired delights internet

Vancouver residents were baffled on Wednesday when a local...

Supreme Court Will Hear Case On Radical Voting Rights Theory

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in its fall...

Income and spending rose less than prices in May.

Officials from OPEC, Russia and other oil-producing countries will...

A New York Homecoming for the ‘Queen of Hoops’

In New York’s SoHo area on a recent overcast afternoon, the windows of the new Jennifer Fisher store had a futuristic glow. Inside, women...

Betty Rowland, One of Burlesque’s Last Queens, Dies at 106

She was known as the “Red Headed Ball of Fire,” a title given her for her stature — she was a diminutive 5-foot-1 —...

TikTok Is Flooded With Health Myths. These Creators Are Pushing Back.

“It is possible to work with brands and still remain fact-based and science-based,” she said, but she acknowledged that “part of it is necessity...