RALPH LAUREN HAS LONG been attracted to a military look, but his fashion translations of the style have always had a soft and classic edge to them: blue jackets with gold buttons and epaulets; sweaters with semi-military inspiration, not very warrior-like, certainly not hard-edge battle field strong. No…these have always been outfits you would wear to lunch at New York’s 21 Club. High fashion. Classy, as only RL knows how to do it.
Now, however, there is a new twist on the military, this one very realistic, not at all afraid of putting almost scary images right up front, on the runway and on the street. This new military look doesn’t play games. It is machine gun sharp. And, it comes from top designers in New York, Paris, Milan, London, you name it. You name it.
There is a strange – you might call it macabre – fascination going around and it has everything to do with war and the military.
They call it military chic. It is not brand new (the military look has been on the back-burner for a while now), but it is experiencing a new incarnation. Its colors are slightly different this year. They are muddy, swamp-like, greige and fatigue greens. Many materials are rumpled, wrinkled, looking like the wearer just returned from jungle warfare. Pants are over loaded with buttoned outside pockets. Various takes on the famous Eisenhower jacket are hot.
ACCESSORIES FOR THE MILITARY LOOK ARE LESS GLITZY THAN WE’VE SEEN IN OTHER STORIES THIS YEAR. HERE ARE SOME GREAT EXAMPLES:
- Dangling coin earrings with gypsy flair
Designers showing the military look as an important part of their collections were many. So were the takes on military style. Anna Sui showed a design mix on the military with an Army green jacket, brown leather belt, Icelandic cap and sweater, fingerless gloves and green print scarf. It was all over the place, and yet it came together marvelously!
Nicole Miller showed a handsome short military coat over a striped mini dress, also worn with fingerless gloves and a tam. From Junya Watanabe came a camouflage print dress with lots of draping and a voluminous hat with aspirations as a battle front helmet. Large shoulders on all these designs helped promote the military look even further!
Air Force One
An important sub category of the military look is the Aviator. But this is almost strictly a military aviator, not the American Airlines vacation type. It’s tough. Dark.
And sexy. Among the leading styles in this look are leather pilot jackets, very expensive looking, with plenty of zippers. Goggles. Aviator helmets. Boots.
Strong makeup is almost an essential with the Aviator. So is hair that is either pulled back tight or short. There are no dainty damsels here. The gals wearing these clothes are serious, professional-looking, almost dangerous.
Cockpit USA has a handsome leather and shearling jacket ideal for the Aviator look. It is worn with a Nomex flight suit. Julibo sunglasses and Frye boots finish the outfit.
FROM CHAINS TO SUNGLASSES, YOU CAN GET JUST THE RIGHT TAKE ON MILITARY AND AVIATOR ACCESSORIES BY LOOKING HERE:
- 5-row beaded chain in light hematite plating
- Classic Aviator sunglasses. Timeless!
Accessories for the military look also vary, depending on how at-work or dressy the outfit is. Most call for chains of one sort or another, rings that don’t interfere with fingerless gloves (an essential here), and sunglasses.
A dressy military version like one presented by Balmain features a black and gold velvet jacket with plenty of braid and metallic glitz, worn with bright orange-red pants and a white scarf. Wow! This is really ornate and gorgeous! Wear it with a metallic skinny belt, small earrings, and maybe a ring or two. Dynamite!