From avid hikers to streetwear influencers, you can see cargo pants and military aesthetics everywhere these days. This season, however, designers are taking an experimental and structured approach to it. Luxury brands like Off-White, Valentino and Act Nº1 have come out with their recent runway looks sporting a military aesthetic. Fashion houses such as Coperni, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton and Diesel have also included these styles in their runways for spring 2023. Even celebrities such as supermodels Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, actor Emily Ratajkowski and singer Rihanna are making this style cool again. With its growing popularity, experts decode this fashion mission for us.
“Military inspired fashion is the biggest trend of the season. It’s not just limited to trousers but it’s a load of everything: skirts, shorts, jackets and matching sets,” informs Amritha Ram, Creative Director, KH House of Khaddar. Designer Aniket Satam adds to this sentiment, “Warfare fashion becomes mainstream when people can connect with the underlying idea of protection. Post-pandemic, we can all relate to this collective feeling that makes this year trending.
What is militarycore?
Think camouflage prints, utilitarian details and silhouettes, and rustic color palettes including khaki, olive, tan and tan. “These become key stylistic elements of Militarycore. Accessories for this trend include dog chains, berets, caps and patches,” informs Satam. Designer duo Rishi and Vibhuti add that everything associated with military uniforms falls into this style – from the choice of dark colors, functional accents like pockets, zips, buckles etc. to camouflage patterns.
Several reports suggest that the style is inspired by British military uniforms from the 1930s. The uniforms were made to make it easier for soldiers to carry extra ammunition and other necessary supplies to the battlefield. It was later adopted by the fashion industry when it was viewed through a utilitarian lens. Pocket design took off in the 1990s and early 2000s and is experiencing a resurgence with the rise of Y2K fashion.
“It underwent a high-fashion makeover that translated into tailored silhouettes, interesting pocket placements filled with ultra-luxe fabrics, smart details, modern cuts and a variety of hues,” says Ram.
Style it right
While everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon, Satam warns that overdoing it can look like cosplay. “Add one element and build an entire look around it, like wearing chunky combat boots or a camo print shirt. Simple and well-executed color blocking with olive green, khaki or coffee can also work well,” she says. Designer Rishi Roy agrees, adding more about anchoring the look with accessories: “Either stick to military-inspired accessories or invest in some statement outerwear, such as khaki jackets, a heavy wool trench coat or a nylon bomber jacket with badges. and patches.”