Carlin International : SS 2010 Womenswear Trends - Khaki

today Apr 8, 2010
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Thomas, how do you explain the comeback of khaki?

After a few seasons dominated by denim and hence the jean, the need for an alternative is beginning to be felt. In a casual register, army style khaki cloth represents the only viable option to denim. Their similarities are many: cotton grounds that can be washed-out, are functional and that are nearly universal references…numerous parallels can be made between these two unavoidable casualwear pivots.
We’ve seen recurrent alternation between denim-jeans and army-khaki since the 70’s, as if these two options were in constant competition. After a few seasons of absence, this spring we will see a comeback of khaki and « army » style.

How will it be worn?

First and foremost, it will be combined with its customary rival, denim, itself worked this season in a very washed-out, « bleached » version, sometimes slightly topped in a light, « dirty » way.
Another perfect partner: little « Liberty » style flowers that will link the two. It’s not by chance that those flowers will be the season’s essential print. Khaki, small flowers, bleached jean: it’s this spring’s winning trio!! For example: a military jacket on a flowery blouse and shorts in washed-out denim…OR a light jean shirt worn open over a flowery camisole with khaki « battle » pants rolled up at the bottom… OR a bleached denim bustier with a little, flowery skirt and a pouch in military cloth…BUT khaki can also be re-looked in rock ’n chic style, combined with black for a more city- wear version.

What characterizes army style this season?

It’s expressed in two different, but complementary, ways: first, an « historic » version (including metallic buttons, frog closings and epaulettes, inspired by the Napoleonic period); the emblematic piece of this trend is the jacket with officer’s collar, already een this winter. A newer version is Jodhpur pants, which could gain favor this season by providing a cavalry touch.
The other version is the « US surplus » spirit, harking back to the seventies, that highlights « battle » style pants and washed-out khaki jacket with patch pockets.
But khaki’s climb won’t stop there. We’ll find it back in an off-beat way on feminine pieces like little strapless tops and romantic camisoles, lightweight shirt-dresses and little ruffled skirts.

Your advice to accessorizing it ?

In jewelry, old gold goes very well with khaki, as well as leathers with patina and skins like suede for leather goods. A little ethnic touch is welcome to offset « army » wear, notably in North American Indian gaucho style. In jewelry and belts, fringes and braiding that started out last summer, are on the rise. Khaki cloth can be used for accessories, especially pouches, since they are the perfect match for jeans.

The mistake not to make ?

A total look in khaki is to be avoided; use it for the top OR the bottom, as a garment or accessory, but don’t dress in warrior style from head to toe: mixing a romantic, ethnic, street or chic touch, according to your style, is a must. And don’t forget one important thing: off-beat khaki worn in the streets and invented during the 70’s was a message of peace!!

Thomas Zylberman, Womenswear stylist - Carlin International

Sources : Carlin International

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