Trend Focus

Evergreen Khaki

It seems like an impossible challenge to find a colour that is feminine, boyish, striking and inconspicuous all at the same time. Somehow, khaki has managed to obtain this covetable status, propelling itself as an equal opponent of the classic black and white tints that have dominated wardrobes throughout these past years. Give in to the neutral colour's qualities and wrap yourself in different khaki hues that provide you with myriads of styling options varying from safari chic to sharp androgyny.

by Chloé Bauwens

Seen on the Runway

Must-haves, essentials and icons are some of the most overused words in fashion. Still, khaki can be labelled as somewhat of a fashion perennial. The colour range, as well as the semi-formal trousers, seem to appear on the runway each season, in one shape or another, making the distinction between both largely redundant. This summer though, it's the colour and its accompanying military vibe that has turned out to be one of the major trends on the SS17 runway. The colour array itself proves to be quite a challenge when it needs to be narrowed down to specific tones and hues. Going back in time the term 'khaki' was used by the British troops in the 19th century to describe the colour of their uniforms which compared significantly to the dust and soil around them. Nowadays, the tone spans an entire spectrum of shades starting at a pale sandy beige to Tuscan-yellows and mossy greens.

Khaki's colour scheme offers a tremendous diversity of tones, but at the same time, it has a unique neutral quality that has the ability to blend in or stand out as acquired. For spring/summer 2017, designers used the colour canvas to their advantage and transformed khaki's urban uniform style into contemporary looks. Stella McCartney interpreted the utility theme into feminine, yet boxy silhouettes that were tailored and loosely flowed all at the same time. At Salvatore Ferragamo, feminine khaki took a stronghold by ditching the colour's history and transforming it into clinging sleeveless dresses. Jonathan Anderson (Loewe) and Consuelo Castiglioni (Marni) decided on a more literal approach of the military inspiration and presented unconfined, calf-grazing, canvas dresses and coats cinched at the waist and completed with oversized handbags and bumbags to further underline the looks practical aspects. Kenzo's Carol Lim and Humberto Leon took the utilitarian material one step further by incorporating the incognito camouflage print into their collection. A signature print in the hip hop scene during the nineties, the combat design offered a modern street vibe that integrated seamlessly into Kenzo's otherwise Asian heritage inspired, colourful collection.
From left: Salvatore Ferragamo, Marni, Loewe, Stella McCartney, Kenzo

Translated to the Streets

Due to its chameleon-like qualities, khaki can be incorporated as an everyday finishing touch or become the focal point of your look. Borrow from the boys by donning camo cargo pants and balance out the androgynous aspect of the look by adding a knotted white tee and a colourful pair of heels. Keep the nineties influences high and complete your look with a pair of hoop earrings. Prefer a more minimal approach? Opt for a slightly oversized khaki jumpsuit that you belt at the waist for a feminine hourglass silhouette. By limiting your colour palette to two or three neutral colours, everything neatly blends giving your jumpsuit the eye-catching allure it so deserves. For those looking for a timeless investment piece, a khaki parka is an unrivalled option. Paired with a colourful and patterned dress this coat provides the right amount of nonchalance while forming a necessary protective layer against the elements. When belted and worn on its own, the parka is reinvented into an easy-fitting power dress topped with a feeling of edge and individuality.