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Trendsetting: Salute

February 21, 2010

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High fashion is the canvas through which designers express themselves and make statements that reflect their take on the world around them. The designs that we see on the ramp eventually filter down to our daily lives and are adapted into the latest trends. Going by what one of the trends in prêt is globally, it wouldn't be inaccurate to say that we live in troubled times. One of the main motifs for the Spring-Summer 2010 season, both globally and on a local level, is to go military.

Late last year with the Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) held in October 2009, three designers made statements that were clearly influenced — on some level — by the military. Fahad Hussayn's almost gothic 'Love is worth the Fall' collection had models styled with black captain hats and traditional, military emblems all over the outfits. On a closer look, the emblems revealed something very un-army — a tribute to the Festival of the Dead — but then that's the beauty of fashion; finding hidden meanings within the designer wear. Having said that, coming to the military aspect of the collection, Fahad Hussayn's indulgence into this trend was in showing off 90's style, very Top Gun-inspired captain hats and military insignia.

Feeha Jamshed (popularly known as Feejays) took out boyfriend shirts, (menswear shirts on women), high-waisted, straight loose pants, large pockets in the Teejays Roxy collection she displayed at FPW. The western wear on women was more androgynous and the palette included colours traditionally used for the services dark brown/beige, light blue-grey, etc.

How to wear Flamboyant individuals can add a military touch to their wardrobe, a la Fahad Hussayn and Feejays' collections, with skinny jeans and boyfriend shirts (with large pockets) styled with the captain hat and perhaps aviator shades. This should work to give that 90's military androgynous touch to today's wardrobe.

Ismail Farid's 'Tribute to the Armed Forces' collection was a clearly influenced by and a testament to the dress and styles of the army from across different cultures — a little glammed up.

How to wear The monochromatic collection had a lot that can be experimented with in everyday style by men. Long, strong shouldered shirts, with simple geometric embroidery that makes it look like a slight westernised variation of the traditional kurta, is something that most men would be able to pull off, at least during the summer wedding season.

Ismail Farid, Tom Cruise and Victoria Beckham seemed to be on the same page and moving in the same direction with their wardrobe. Posh Spice was spotted at a social 'do wearing a grey, Nazi inspired coat replete with hat and a thin buckled black belt to style it with. Her style seems to have been heavily inspired by that of Tom Cruise who went all Nazi for his film Valkyrie and sported a similar jacket but styled with a thin brown belt instead. With Posh and Cruise's budding friendship the almost-identical, military-inspired outfits come as no surprise.

On the global runways for spring-summer 2010 fashion, designers such as Chloe, Burberry Prorsum, John Galliano (in his signature flamboyant style) and Haider Ackerman, showed military inspired collections throughout the catwalk. Where some preferred to tone it down a notch or two (Chloe — sticking to simple yet conservative shirts and thin, straight pants) there were others who went all out collections by John Galliano and Burberry had beige pleated shirts and skirts and Galliano's collection was styled heavily to reflect the post-war party feel.

How to wear Where previously the leather bomber was a prominent wardrobe item, judging by the international runways, the flak jacket might just take its place. To sum it up, this spring-summer is all about conservative dressing, covering up, blacks, beiges, greys and blues, large pockets, aviators, captain hats, boyfriend shirts and military jackets.