Pentagon City: There’s no denying that the United States Army holds the military fashion crown, with past designs by Ralph Lauren and Karl Lagerfeld selling out at Barney’s and Neiman Marcus. But the Army has outdone itself this season, by teaming up with Versace!
“Since the days of Saratoga and Germantown, the Army has always been at the forefront of defending America from foreign enemies, and doing so with a flair and chic that would be the envy of any design house in Milan or Paris,” says Uwe Rheinhardt of the New York School of Fashion Arts. “But the Army’s 2013 collection shows a verve and daring that will keep America’s soldiers a step ahead of the competition, whether that’s in the Kandahar desert or on the runways in Miami.”
The new collection’s stunning red coats have already been modelled by Bianca Tauro at last month’s Fabrizzi fashion show in Rome, and the rest of the range is equally show stopping. With lashings of Versace trademarks, from shocking bright colour to tricornered caps, it’s glamorous and cool with a garish twist, sure to attract all eyes on the battlefield in any Middle Eastern hellhole.
General Stanley Abraham of the Army’s Natick, Massachusetts design lab concurred, noting that Versace’s gold-braided waistcoasts, contrasted with the ivory pantaloons that have fashion mavens talking from Berlin to Basra, “give the Army a strong fashion brand sure to ‘shock and awe’ all enemy combatants.”
“It made me think about why soldiers are so fixated with rules,” says Donatella Versace of her collection. “Armed combat should be more fun. When the American fighting man marches forth on the battlefield, his last worry should be that he’ll be caught dead in the dreary fashions of yesteryear.”
We’re circling our diary for 2013 – in gold. In the meantime – see our favourite pieces from the collection here.