>MAD FOR MILITARY – ONE OF FALL’S KEY LOOKS THAT’S STRETCHING INTO SPRING

27 Aug

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY

One of the beauties of being “a fashion veteran” is that I can with all honesty say, “Oh, I’ve seen THAT before” – at least another version of whatever “that” is.
TAKE THE MILITARY LOOK THAT’S ALL OVER THE PAGES OF SEPTEMBER’S HARPER’S BAZAAR. It pops u on pp. 308, 320, 396, 481, and 508. Flip through your issue or visit www.harpersbazaar.com, and it will pop right up at you. . I’M USING THE PREVIEWS I’VE BEEN SEEING AS AN INDICATOR THAT THE FALL MILIARY TREND WILL EXTEND INTO SPRING. MILITARY HISTORICALLY POPS BACK UP ON THE FASHION RADAR SCREEN IN TIMES WHEN THE ECONOMY IS IN A SLUMP. THE LAST WAVE WAS IN THE EARLY NINETIES, when I started out as a part-time PR Assistant to Michael Kors, reporting to the exotically gorgeous LEYLA BASAKINSKI.

My knee-jerk reaction was to run upstairs to my huge attic and pull-out my long black vintage Michael Kors coat. I still have and cherish it. The long sweeping coat was the first important piece I received as part of my clothing allowance while I started there, at the West 24th Street Studio, around the corner from the infamous BILLY’S TOPLESS. After mulling it over, I brought it down to take to the dry cleaner’s and started trying to figure out how I could make it current.
For inspiration, I scanned the PEOPLE’S REVOLUTION preview pics for the upcoming s/s2011 NICHOLAS K Collection. Designer Nicholas Kunz, will be showing a “strong utilitarian inspired collection [which] takes on a rugged but avant-garde military vibe infused with dusty, earth color tones and a modern spin on classic looks.” Ms. Kunz’s latest effort implements a military color palette of rich army greens and browns, creams and navy blues. She updates it by adding striped checks and combinations such as woodland and fog camouflage. Little touches like the smoke colored aviator glasses and the high heeled lace-up booties help make a statement. The olive drab outerwear she’ll be showing at her LINCOLN CENTER SHOW at the MERCEDES BENZ S/S NY SHOWS highlights the MILITARY FEEL of her spring collection. FEEL IS THE KEY HERE. JUST AN ELEMENT OR TWO WILL DO IT. Ms. Kunz’s collection is interesting because it suggests that we’ll be moving into UTILITARIANISM. If there were ever a time to be practical, this is it. Pundits and experts on www.cnbc.com are now predicting two more years of recession.

This is NOT a combat boot moment, which is a little scary, and too literal by far. You do NOT want to look as if you belong in the cast of the 1981 German Art house flick, “Das Boot” from the early nineties. THE SOLUTION TO UPDATING MILIARY LIES IN FOCUSING ON BORROWING THE COLORS ASSOCIATED WITH MILITARY. Michael Kors hits squarely on it with a soft olive sweater and skirt in his fall 2010 collection show accessorized with little cashmere cap and sexy brown leather sandals. Your take on military COULD BE A GREAT SHOE, LIKE THE CUTOUT CESARE PACIOTTIS FEATURED ON p. 508 of Harper’s Bazaar, or OLIVE AND BRONZE NAILCOLORS, IF YOU’RE THE CAUTIOUS SORT.
If you’re stuck for ideas, have a look at www.netaporter.com.
They’ve joined forces with Harper’s to teamed up to bring you some must-haves items, many retailing for under $500.
THE BOTTOM LINE: TRY FOR A FEMINIZED VERSION OF THE LOOK.
Atten-hut!

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