Army looks Khaki femininity of urban combattants
Diala Aschkar, Art Director at Orient Palms, Paris, France & Rana Bou Saada

Army looks

Khaki femininity of urban combattants

While military looks usually scream power, they can be beautifully twisted into a soft, feminine appearance. Balmain, Cavalli, Diesel, Jacobs, Coach, Kenzo, Fay and Ferragamo have managed to illustrate this contradiction through their army attires. They have played the duality challenge and they have thrived at it, as they brilliantly combine vulnerability and strength.

At Balmain, Olivier Rousteing succeeds in sexing up the military look with his sensual army. A high split adds a bold touch to the transparent lower part of the first look; whereas numerous cut-outs – notably underboob-revealing ones - distinguish the upper one. Our favorite detail about this attire is definitely the intertwined leather belts: they beautifully break the monotony of the army green color, while skillfully highlighting the model’s waist.

The pattern of a tight belt contrasting with a fluid gown is repeated in the second safari look. Transparency and an almost colors’ uniformity are also there. Other fine additions differentiate this dress: just like a snake, a metallic bulky necklace surrounds the model’s neck; whereas a simple folding at the waist and a loose jacket accentuate the look’s fluidity.

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If Tabitha Getty were to reincarnate, she would probably opt for one of Roberto Cavalli’s Spring/Summer 2017 looks! With a trendsetter approach, creative director Peter Dundas complements the 70’s hippy’s attitude with a Native American feel. The khaki jeans are embroidered with birds and flowers, while the colors of the bra top echoes a patchwork design. A skinny scarf contrasts with an Arabian-like blanket coat, highlighting the Bohemian grunge features of this look.

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Andreas Melbostad, creative director at Diesel Black Gold, merges soft femininity with army toughness in his collection. His khaki ruffled miniskirt and bustier combine various details (belt, pockets and laces) all the while staying simple and aesthetic. A girly touch marked the model literally from head to toe with her creative mini buns and combat boots.

Marc Jacobs creates an elegant street-style look in the right attire. His chunky camouflage short dress is adorned with a beautiful miniature piece of light blue tulle from below. It reminds us of a Goth Victorian appearance, especially with its halo of elaborate dreadlocks. Also, we cannot but talk about the vertiginous wedge boots and their cosmic design, which definitely add a special edge to the look. A last special mention is to be made to the fine stone ring that the model wears!

It would be lengthy to describe all the details that make the Coach collection a head-turning one. It can in fact be best explained as a mashup of fashion contradictions. For example, the military pattern of the chemise on the left and the jacket on the right is adorned with black flowers and feathers. The first skirt is covered with different studs and accessories. The fringed purses and avant-garde mini-boots prove the look to be a fine rock and roll masterpiece!

The miscellaneous pieces and rugged look are extended to the following attires as well. The model on the left confidently wears her bulky metallic belt, leather neck scarf and Elvis Presley printed top. The one on the right combines fringes and smiley patches on one jacket. Both of them have a charming tough appearance, especially with their transparent midi tulle skirts contrasting with their bold masculine military jackets.

A feminine combat soldier is what best describes Kenzo’s model, who wears a military pattern beautifully printed on a dark blue dress. The relaxed upper part contrasts well with the tight skirt. Furthermore, asymmetric chest pockets and puffed sleeves twist the otherwise simple look. The model’s dangling shining earrings and minimalistic bright sandals embellish her army look.

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The trend of sparkling earrings and simple sandals is observed in the next looks as well. The chic and femininity of these accessories are opposed to outerwear-style clothing, notably the raincoat-like outfits. The first look is distinguished with its long cape and piece of black sequins at the waist; whereas the second one celebrates dimensions’ contrasts, by being puffed at some places and tightened at others. The vivid makeup – particularly red eye shadow and lipstick – is a bold addition to the outfits’ regular colors.

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If the so far reviewed models mirror the fighting soldiers’ look, the below one reminds us of the in-charge officer. At a first glance, the appearance’s vibes are masculine ones, due to the model’s hairstyle, the outfit’s cotton fabric and its more or less tight cut. However, upon closer examination, we can easily discern the feminine touch of the outfit: the Fay belt centers the model’s waist; whereas the buttoned gilet reveals the belly’s skin, bringing to our mind a crop top effect. The outfit’s matt color is broken with some glittering sequins on its upper part.

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The belt is an extensively used accessory, as it reoccurs in the following looks as well. Creative directors Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi equip their chic feminine woman with daring elements of the safari and/or military worlds. The mini dress on the left has a safari print and several grommets, highlighting its bold appearance. Feminine brooches are replaced with soldier medals, as two of them are hanged on the model’s chest. As for the dress on the right, it has a uniform color – a grey khaki one -but is adorned with many more medals and patches.

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As the French saying goes, simplicity is beauty. This greatly applies to Salvatore Ferragamo’s below outfits. The left outfit is rather slim, with slightly puffed short sleeves reminding us of the 40s and shoes resembling fashionable joggers. The leather collar elegantly breaks the ultra-femininity of the look, along with simple yet daring eye shadow.

Similar shoes and make up are applied in the second attire, made of a midi high-waist skirt and a matching blouse. The leather pattern is reintroduced as well, only this time in a bright blue bag, which emphasizes the feminine practicality of the look.

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