Camouflage… or simply “Camo” was considered to be the pattern for the indestructible fabric of uniforms, with abstracted randomly selected shapes and colors usually found in nature. “Camo” intended to provide the symbols of solidarity, patriotism and above all – masculinity.
With the era of “camo” translation into the world of fashion, street-wear and even designed clothes, far from its root(s) and socio-historical context, was the general idea lost or “upgraded” to the level of art? Presumably, one may add a couple of skulls with fake-crystal eyes and an endless number of tags and labels with contradictory messages!
Visual art, new urban identity, fashion design, hype, camomania… another comeback in the same decade… No other fabric pattern managed to achieve such an enormous success twice in a decade! “Camo” represented a certain attitude towards society and values. It was almost a sign of recognition among rebellious “enfants terribles”, who did not care about the trends, the socially acceptable rules and who despise social hypocrisy. “Camo” meant “NO” to all social and socially acceptable tendencies! “Camo” requires certain attitude, almost like Schweppes: “For men, not for boys!”
Now, “camo” has become the total opposite of what it used to be! “Camo” means “YES, I’m IN”. Period. Sad, but true! Fashion industry made the design more acceptable applying it in numerous items from jackets, blazers, and ties, to socks, underwear, shoes and virtually all accessories! However, “Camo” lost its identity and the instant identification to “high-level testosterone masculinity”. Camo became “new chic”, which is… not its original idea intention. Even the genuine color scheme and scale changed. The pattern was translated into virtually every color scheme. From earth tones to pinkish naïve shades… From testosterone to metro… whatever!
Was it another “fashion renaissance” or the lack of ideas in the world of fashion business, which is “trop blazé”, synonymous for industry and “profit making” and so far from “applied art”? The more the profit making becomes the goal of fashion, the less the artistic approach is needed. I am afraid the lack of talent and genuine ideas must be very much appreciated in the world of fashion influencing people: the dictators! Being good in fashion business and advertising does not mean being an artist.
Some call it simply another “artistic experiment”… even “new iconography” of the 21st century. Promotion and money making remains the result. The same applies to numerous endless marks, badges, labels and tags virtually covering each and every fashion item, often with contradictory and unaesthetic (read: schizophrenic) and subliminal messages sent to youngsters and other “fashion consumers”.
Someone intentionally opened the famous Pandora’s box and acrylic snakes “Made in…” we all know where, started to move around…