A new exhibition, The Vanishing Art of Camouflage, has opened at Westminster’s School of Media, Art and Design’s gallery space London Gallery West.

The Vanishing Art of Camouflage offers a fascinating insight into the impact and influence of camouflage print on fashion, art and design.

Since its development in the early 20th Century, camouflage has inspired artists and designers to incorporate the iconic patterns and prints into items from high fashion and sportswear to skateboards, toilet paper, and even condoms. Traditionally developed and designed to blend in, the eye-catching exhibition shows how camouflage can, in fact, stand out.

Army coloured coats installed at the Vanishing Art of Camouflage
Installation view of The Vanishing Art of Camouflage, London Gallery West

The exhibition features a range of historical military garments dating back to the First World War alongside their adaptive high-end fashion versions and a selection of unusual artifacts that have adapted camouflage for their own means.

A range of modern camouflage designs is also on show from designers including Adidas Originals, Ashish, Coach, Griffin, Jeremy Scott, MA.Strum, Maharishi, Nanamica, One True Saxon, Penfield, Plurimus, Ralph Lauren and Stone Island. All of these examples underlines the importance of camouflage and military design as fundamental in the design and development of civilian menswear.

Speaking about the exhibition, Andrew Groves, Course Director of BA Fashion Design at the University said:

"The Vanishing Art of Camouflage is the first exhibition to be curated drawing extensively on the newly formed Westminster Menswear Archive. The Archive was founded for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a collection of menswear garments to encourage and develop the study of menswear design from a technical and functional point of view. For too long the study of fashion and design has focused solely on womenswear, and this is an attempt to address that imbalance and also to show how menswear has also informed womenswear design.

"The Archive is also intended to advance the general knowledge of menswear as a design discipline and to be used as a resource tool to inform contemporary menswear design."  

White camouflage coats at The Vanishing Art of Camouflage exhibition
The huge range of camouflage inspired fashion and objects on show at The Vanishing Art of Camouflage exhibtion

The exhibition runs until 20 November.

Find out more about the archives, the MA Menswear and BA Fashion.

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