Camo is a new leopard! Demilitarized, this eye-catching and impactful pattern is trooping in to win the final battle over other trendy prints. Intricate, arresting design combined with fine tailoring, dazzling fabrics and dashing hues makes a stylish knockout. From shoes and pants, through dresses, tops and coats, the camouflage trend transforms this utilitarian, obscure motif into the chic fashion staple. The effect is unexpected and astonishing, as the camo garments and accessories strike the senses with visually splendid palette and lavish lines.
Streets or runways, the camouflage doesn’t mask or hide in the shadow. Instead, it woos and engages the eye like an abstract cubist painting. When in 1915 the cubist master, Pablo Picasso, first saw the camouflaged truck passing by, he said: “Yes, it is we who made it, that is cubism”. However, it is Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scévola, a French painter, who is considered one of the inventors of military camouflage during World War I. He camouflaged a gun emplacement with a painted canvas screen and at the end of 1915, became the leader of the French Camouflage Corps that employed many cubist artists. To describe his work, he said: “ In order to deform totally the aspect of an object, I had to employ the means that cubists use to represent it”.
In my eyes, the camouflage motif, with its abstract optical disorder and disrupting shapes, is such an avant-garde, artistic representation.
What to wear with it? If you decide to go camo from head to toe like me, the jewelry is the key.
Delicate – not to overwhelm the strong visual print
Modern – to emphasize the new approach to the camo
Artistic – to respond to the striking design
Inspirational – to incite styling creativity
There is jewelry that embraces the all above: beq Pettina.
I was carefully approaching the choice of the jewelry for my camo outfit and when I saw the beautiful custom made pieces by beq Pettina (formerly Maika), I knew I hit the jackpot.
You may remember Jasmine Wilson, the chief designer behind the brand, and the interview she gave me a few month ago when I attended her jewelry launch party here in NYC. I jumped at the chance of collaboration with Jasmine as I admire her creative designs, feminine style and remarkable quality of her hand made jewelry.
Jasmine works on her jewelry lines in her studio located in SoHo, NYC and then, the designs are sent to Japan where the pieces are handmade by skilled artisans and brought back to NYC. The latest collections: Fouli and Forever May are the ones I picked to complement my camouflage outfit.
Wearing the camouflage print may be challenging, especially when you combine it with more camo pieces. The trick is to mix motifs of different shapes and sizes to balance the visual effect. If you choose a dress or blouse with a small-scale camo pattern, pair it with a bag or pants featuring a larger print to get the engaging result.
The Joe Fresh dress (similar) showcases a digital-like print with the disruptive spotted camouflage of olive, black, white and bright green colors. The small camo motif provides the perfect terrain to expose the exquisite Michael Kors Hamilton Camouflage Traveler Calf Hair satchel. The larger pattern of the purse immediately attracts the eye and then points to its smaller version on the dress.
The camouflage on these Sam Edelman Okala heels strikes just the right balance between the larger print of the bag and the small one of the dress. Add this excellent Brahma hair texture, almond-toe silhouette, elegant ankle strap and you have a perfect camo companion.
Brahma hair comes from a cattle breed mainly used for meat and first imported from India. Now, it is popular in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, USA, Australia and other countries. In Oman and Fujairah in the UAE, Brahma bull-butting is a traditional sport where two bulls battle with their heads and horns. It is usually bloodless unlike Spanish bullfighting and the winning bull pushes the opponent to the ground or makes him run away. No wonder these camo pumps deliver such a strong element!
To tame a bit this intense look, I reached for the stylish, graceful jewelry pieces by beq Pettina.
I layered two necklaces and added simple gold plated earrings, all from the Fouli collection which means “Jasmine” in Greek, as explained by the designer- Jasmine Wilson.
The longer necklace is truly exceptional with a striking combination of multi string gold plated chains, cotton pearls, rhinestones and the light green silk cord: all high-quality materials sourced from Japan. I adore this innovative yet very classy synergy between the cord made of luxurious silk and eco-friendly pearls made of cotton. How creative is that? If you watched the video with my interview with Jasmine, you know that cotton pearls are super lightweight but durable faux pearls made of hard compressed cotton. They come from France and were a hit during the art deco time in the US. Later, they became popular in Japan but the trend slowly faded and so did the factories that used to manufacture the pearls. Not long ago, one place in Japan (only one!) learnt the secret of cotton pearls’ production and started making them again. Now, beq Pettina is one of only few wholesalers in the world that can purchase them in a large quantity. How awesome!
The shorter necklace goes perfectly with the long one as it also features the lustrous silk cord of the same hue connected with the wider gold plated chain, sparkling rhinestones and black resin beads that are custom made in Japan. Both necklaces complement beautifully the camo look, adding that trendy glam and sophistication. The mélange of white cotton pearls, black resin beads, shiny rhinestones and classy gold tone earrings works as the additional dazzling camouflage spots that tantalize the eye.
The two stretched bracelets from the Fouli collection are made with exceptional “Tila” glass beads that resemble multicolored tiles and are sourced by only one place in Japan. Here, they shine with green, brown and black to match the shades of the camouflage outfit.
The other bracelet comes from the Forever May line that was inspired by the awakening of spring and blossoming flowers that Jasmine wanted to capture and enshrine in the collection. This delicate bracelet offers a promise of a new beginning with its sublime chains linked by a fine charm logo and crowned with a blissful tassel that dangles like a first leaf touched by a spring breeze. Gracefully adorning the hand, it bring the feminine touch to this visually dynamic look.
I added these simple yet voguish rings (Aldo) of different sizes and styles that can be mixed, stacked or worn on upper or lower part of a finger. They fit perfectly into the graphic camo trend and, together with two layered beq Pettina bracelets, create an optically fetching picture.
beq Pettina handmade jewelry is a unique amalgamate of the classy and the innovative. The versatility makes it perfect both, for everyday wear and for special occasions. The pieces are easy to pair with a little black dress, jeans, floral or graphic patterns, day or night. The intriguing design and high quality, unique materials promise an easy start of conversation on a subway, or at the party. Want to try? I already did!