|Camouflage has always been apart of the animal kingdom, though some species — such as squid — are able to blend in with their surroundings much better than others. Taking a cue from the natural world, camouflage is also worn by military forces across the world. Eventually, camouflage fashion made its way onto the civilian dress scene in the U.S., when returning Vietnam veterans wore their military fatigues while protesting the war in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
While camouflage clothes have deep military roots, the camouflage worn by civilians today has little to do with trying to blend in. Rather, unique camouflage patterns and the incorporation of bright hues makes modern day camouflage wearers stand out. Well, sort of. It depends on where they stand.
New York-based design studio Snarkitecture partnered with custom print specialists Print All Over Me (POAM) to create a new fashion collection for men. Aptly named Architectural Camouflage, the new line features a variety of repeat camouflage patterns that allow the wearer to seamlessly blend into New York’s urban environment, particularly the city’s subway.
The casual-sport aesthetic of the collection incorporates neutral tones of black, white, and grey, and even digital prints reminiscent of the city’s many surfaces and textures such as grouting, geometric tile, and marble streaks. Key pieces include t-shirts, joggers, neoprene sweats, caps, and even backpacks. The collection launched in New York last week.
“The starting point was this idea of creating moments of architectural confusion, where you become visually lost within different material surfaces,” said the team at Snarkitecture.
Though the Architectural Camouflage collection is cohesive in its entirety, the line features three prints, each having distinct qualities. The first was inspired by the rectangular white tiles and black grouting that line the walls of many of the city’s subway stations. Small, hexagon tiles in the same color scheme were also used to create a repeated pattern, while the final print was based on marble surfaces and includes veins of grey against stark white.
“There’s also the possibility of material displacement – so that when you wear your all-subway-tile outfit to the park, it looks and feels as if you’ve brought a piece of architecture into a different environment,” the studio added.
Prior to being assembled and shipped directly to the customer, the patterns are digitally printed on the fabrics, then washed in order to allow the dye to penetrate and adhere to the fabric properly.