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Thread: paramilitary fashion - rant

  1. #16
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    Have been resisting the temptation to reply to this thread for quite a while now, but can't restrain myself any longer. Have to admit I'm absolutely fascinated by militaristic gear - wore army shirts and jackets throughout my teens with big boots; even now much of my wardrobe has a martial sensibility - buckle boots, black shirts with soviet patches, have been known to wear braces, soviet officers hats and so forth to clubs...happen to think Laibach look great, have a large collection of soviet badges, patches, armbands, etc.

    There seem to be two ways of cutting this up - either the creeping militarisation of casual wear (the brass-button coats for girls that everyone was wearing last year; the ubiquitous camo - mostly horrible; combat trousers - which actually look quite bad on women I think) is indicative of a trivialisation of the horror of war, the vicious extent of our foreign policy, the death-ward direction of bureaucracy and all that, or the non-practical take-up of this kind of stuff is a kind of critique of the 'official' version of it - that the more these looks and gear is disseminated and (in some ways) has the piss taken out of it, the less likely it is that we'll accept what we're told by those who wear it 'seriously'. Well, maybe.

    The added dimension to this second point is a libidinal one - by acknowledging the potential sexiness of uniforms (ok, so not everyone sees it, admittedly), and exploiting it, getting it out in the open then its latent use in more serious situations (aesthetically, there's no doubt the Nazis knew exactly what they were doing with their vision of certain apparel and symbols) is diffused...it's a kind of innoculation...(the gay army-wear faction, women in military gear looking like they won't take any shit and all that)...but it's not straightforward, obv.

    Have noticed a certain interesting hypocrisy on this topic, come to think of it. Have met quite a lot of people who profess to abhor men in Nazi gear, but the idea of women in the equivalent is 'different', because 'sexy' or ambiguous - anyone prepared to suggest it's ok for women to wear military gear, tho not men? Would be quite interested.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul
    (Sufi, did you have toy guns? Did they damage you?)
    yeah a few, but i also remember a constructing some serious & potentially lethal weapons such as bows and arrows and catapults in traditional country-boy style. I'd definitely blame the telly (and comix! ) for this rather than my dear ma & pa.

    we collude in escalating hostile social environmment & atmosphere by adopting defensive/aggressive fashion postures, like the traditional uniforms such as business suits etc have been replaced not by dressing down workwear such as jeans, but by khakis and camo, representing creeping militarisation of civil society/privatisation of violence

  3. #18
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    Most mindblowing idea on this thread -- INFINTE THOUGHT LIKES ARMY GEAR! Nice one!

    Sufi -- re: "we collude in escalating hostile social environmment & atmosphere by adopting defensive/aggressive fashion postures"... three words. Punks versus casuals. Casuals had passive / defensive fashion postures, punks had aggressive ones. I know which ones I used to feel more comfortable around! (Note: I do have an ongoing love for the pink Lacoste polo shirt...)

    And -- suits are BACK. I was one of the first into casual gear at work, but people WANT to wear suits again.

    Chinos = deffo a part of military style (one of the reasons I like them). But chinos are very hard to wear -- finding ones that actually suit your shape is incredibly difficult. Too narrow in the leg and they look like jodphurs, too wide and they look like baloons. Better off with those very thick cotton black straight-leg pants from Gap, they're very well cut as long as you get ones that fit properly.
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2stepfan

    And -- suits are BACK. I was one of the first into casual gear at work, but people WANT to wear suits again.

    .
    during a brief period as a useful member of society, i was rather irked by the fact that the office i worked in was permanently dress-down: a dubious thing i feel, the attempt to disguise the regimentation of offices by letting people wear jeans and doss on the internet

  5. #20
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    The subject (or its cousin army coats) got mentioned in Prof Gideon Carter's take on fashion in The Sunday Times today

    In that context, how can it be that pierce-faced teenage girl and boy losers, who profess support for trendy causes such as peace and love and the feeding of Africa, are still to be found hovering around Camden Lock in army-surplus overcoats, often bearing the insignia of murderous, former communist regimes? Do they think war is funny? Do they think war is cool? I’d like to yank their noses off with their nose rings, the ignorant blighters. Bertie declared: “Either man will abolish war, or war will abolish man.” Let’s start by abolishing these ridiculous coats.
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  6. #21
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    Cammo comes in handy when you re trying to be sneaky.

    And for those who party out of the beaten path: the surplus stuff (tarps, tents, pants etc) does tend to be way more durable then regular consumer gear.

  7. #22
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    well, the current popularity of military styles in mainstream culture might be linked with a increasing "militarization" of the political and social sphere - i agree with that...

    ...but when it comes to subcultural dress codes, the meanings of military apparel are of a much more complex nature. in general, subcultures that "borrow" certain clothing styles from other social contexts have the tendency to re-contextualise these items. hip hop for example has a longlasting tradition in this practice, incorporating sportswear (adidas), workwear (timberland boots - formerly associated with backwoods lumberjacks), sailing gear (does anyone remember the helly hansen craze of circa 98?) and even golf wear (ralph lauren, hilfiger) into the repertoire of its fashion. sometimes the reasons for adapting certain styles are obvious (i.e. breakdancers wearing sweat pants and sneakers for practical reasons), sometimes they are only decipherable with some background knowledge about certain cultural traditions (i.e. chinos being a integral part of the west coast latino culture, originally worn as a reference to the outfit of (mostly mexican) agricultural workers in the first half of the 20th century).

    military styles in hip hop can mean different things: Public Enemy's black leather style was clearly a reference to the appearance of the Black Panther Party and therefore to a certain political militancy, whereas the Wu-Tang Clan or Mobb Deep are/were dressed in camouflage gear because they consider it to be the appropriate outfit for a "inner-city warzone". and arguably none of these groups wear army clothes in praise of one of the wars fought by the US military in recent years...

    (i have to admit the fascination of hip hop artists with all things military has also taken very bizarre turns - like Master P's No Limit soldiers posing with golden artillery cannons or 50 Cent's infamous Gucci labelled bulletproof vest...)
    Last edited by danny bwoy; 31-01-2006 at 02:05 AM.

  8. #23
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    The military fashion thing for me is more about utility and function, good durable clothing that is unadorned with crap you don't need. I guess it links back to the modernist ideals, truth to materials etc. I find it funny that it has trickled into 'high' fashion, it really flips the script, altering military designs to be something to be 'seen' in rather than keeping you dry/warm/cool etc. Although you cannot deny the basic necessity of clothing I guess.
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  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by danny bwoy
    (i have to admit the fascination of hip hop artists with all things military has also taken very bizarre turns - like Master P's No Limit soldiers posing with golden artillery cannons or 50 Cent's infamous Gucci labelled bulletproof vest...)
    do you know about wesley snipes paramilitary firm the royal guard of amen ra? really taking things far as it's a supposed firn for protecting black artists ..
    they are positioned next to the nuwaubian nation of moors in georgia .
    very interesting group the nuwaubians with alot of connections within hip hop and a mad as a bag of ferrets but a bizarre almost sun ra esque cosmology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...ation_of_Moors

    the leader malachi z york was a disco performer who bacame the 'great teacher'
    he's even got a special conspiracy theory about disco
    'Disco was created by the devil to win the souls of the Nubians: “The evil one knows that he can control the music world as long as his agents are within the A & R (Artists and Repertoire, who are responsible for choosing who makes it in the music world) of the well known companies. He cannot evaluate Latin or Black music because he (the evil one) has no soul. He only duplicates it… He had to come up with something to win our souls through his means, and he did it with disco.”

  10. #25
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    you just can't go past the S1W(security of the 1st world) of PE for paramilitary chic and dance moves ...

    ...inspired by Professor Griff and the FOI (fruit of Islam) the militant soldier like arm of NOI(nation of islam)

    Ideology doesn't really come much kookier than fard, elijah, farrakhan, motherplanes,yakub, 66 trillion yr old moonbases...

    my favourite jacket is a russian special forces urban camo used primarily in georgia, I liked it so much i got my graf mate to paint my van like it


  11. #26
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    Anyone else see the bombardment of press for this book a while back?


    From what I've heard it's partially a shill for camo fashion but also has a lot of the history and military use documented.

  12. #27
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  13. #28
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    did we go from camo in 2006 to all black outfit hitlerjugend in 2019?

  14. #29

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    that schiesse's been around a while

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