Monday, September 3, 2012

Camouflage Ice Jackets | Stone Island

Ice Jacket Camouflage from Stone Island

In recent weeks, Paul Dezentjé, a writer from the Netherlands, has been sharing information with us about a variety of camouflage based developments in clothing design. Dezentjé writes for an interesting Dutch magazine called Bright. He is especially interested in the work of an Italian graphic designer named Massimo Osti (1944-2005), who thirty years ago initiated a line of functional garments he called Stone Island, a brand that is still in existence. Dezentjé has published a fascinating article on Osti's innovations, an English translation of which is available here online

Of particular interest are Osti’s experiments with adaptive clothing. One example is his use of a fabric (invented in Japan) to produce garments (called Camouflage Ice Jackets) that automatically change color in response to changes in temperature, in concert with seasonal changes. Dezentjé himself has a waistcoat “that changes color in the summer sun.”

In 2008, the Stone Island brand came out with a series of jackets in which each garment was one-of-a-kind. Each was a unique hand-painted camouflage scheme, with a richness of color and gesture that reminds us of the surfaces of abstract expressionist paintings.

In the meantime, two new books are being released: One if a 415-page monograph titled Ideas from Massimo Osti; while the other is a 644-page book on the history of the first three decades of Stone Island, titled Stone Island Archivio 982-012.

Stone Island hand-painted camouflage jacket

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Camouflage for the Tin Man

WWII US Army camouflage suit (c1942)

Shown above is an eccentric experiment in disruptive coloration for a World War II US Army sniper that appeared in the popular press (c1942). The costume is admittedly confusing, but it must have been a challenge to wear. Most likely, it was a stunt for journalists, a "photo opportunity" for the purpose of publicizing the war effort.