Military-inspired Fashions Take on New Meaning Amid Ukraine War
By Miles Socha
Might Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sparked global condemnation, a humanitarian crisis and a rash of sanctions, put any damper on fashion’s recent enthusiasm for such Army-inspired styles as bomber jackets, cargo pants and combat boots?
Not necessarily, say fashion historians, retailers and other observers, arguing that military-inspired styles have become deeply entrenched in contemporary wardrobes, prized for their clean lines, functionality and — possibly fanned during the pandemic — for bolstering the wearer’s confidence.
“It‘s been quite painful to witness some of the brands’ clumsy attempts to either ignore the war or to align their collections meaningfully,” commented Andrew Groves, a professor of fashion design at the University of Westminster in London.
Groves noted that “fashion was able to exist in its own bubble during previous wars that were only covered by traditional media. This is the first major conflict to emerge and be mediated via TikTok and Instagram, and because fashion is increasingly consumed digitally rather than physically, the industry has struggled to navigate this shared space and strike the appropriate tone.”