Introducing: Atelier de l’Armée
Apart from mindblowing creations shown on fashion week runways, getting in touch with unique brands and concepts who deliver something out of the box you can actually wear (and purchase), is getting harder each passing day. Plus, with the amount of clothing and accessories production increasing on a daily basis there’s no getting around the waste from exceeding stocks or wardrobe purges; so, when I came across Atelier de L’Armée I couldn’t help to be absolutely blown away.
After going through their website and placing an order for a 1974 belgian paratrooper jacket and a pair of dutch airlines pants (more on that later), I lost track of time browsing through a neverending list of unique, numbered bags handcrafted with vintage army deadstock such as tents, jackets, pants, linings, denim and rifle handles. I got a chance to talk to Elza & Joost, the minds behind this amazing brand…
The ever shifting fashion world is one that draws inspiration from everything around it: art, culture, design, media, past, present or even future. As Sir Paul Smith so eloquently put it: “Inspiration can be found everywhere, if you can’t look again”. Work, mountain, navy and armywear, all have experienced trend bursts and become not only subjects for themed collections but also menswear staples in their own right. However, few have been so hyped as camouflage in recent seasons.
Although camo and military inspired garments have paved their way into street style and designer stores in the past (generally in a tasteless fashion), its recent resurgence on runways and high-end labels has turned this stealthy pattern into one of the most coveted and current around. Even if not solely responsible for it, I have to hand it over to the Woost God for elevating camo to new standards through his unique use of variations on the theme: never has camouflage experienced such love as now.
While at Pitti, one needed only take a look around to feel a part of an exquisitely dapper war game where everyone, if not everything, sported the motif: even resting area tents were made of camouflage canvas. And judging by both AW12 and SS13 collections, the truth is, love it or hate it, camo is here to stay…
Stubbs and Wootton
Dries Van Noten SS13