Military Chic Or Danger Zone? The French Label We're Still Trying To Figure Out

20/01/2016 8:01 PM AEDT | Updated 28/09/2016 9:55 PM AEST
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Pietro D'aprano via Getty Images
MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 17: A model walks the runway at the Moncler Gamme Bleu show during Milan Men's Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016/17 on January 17, 2016 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pietro D'aprano/Getty Images)

Moncler’s Gamme Bleu collection sparked a mixed response on Sunday night during Milan Fashion Week after models walked the runway dressed in camouflage, combat boots and balaclavas, revealing a confronting and repetitive image.

Considering the Paris attacks occurred a mere two months ago, was it a metaphor for patriotism or a call for peace?

Speaking to Women’s Wear Daily, head designer Thom Browne of the French-Italian ski-wear brand said he had no intention to make any connection to the tragedy.

Given Browne’s colour scheme of red, white and blue splashed across each model’s camo uniform (and faces) it certainly makes a case for a message of defiance against the terror that ripped through Paris in December -- rather than something you would actually wear.

“For me, it’s just camouflage, almost like a sportswear camouflage. It was done more in a sportswear way, and had nothing to do with anything politically going on,” Browne said.

Camo was featured heavily throughout the entire collection in various ways, from sequined jackets to studded pants all paired with red, white and blue face paint.

So should we expect to see snowboarders and skiers storming the slopes in such attire? Perhaps a question for another day.

moncler gamme bleu

The Gamme Bleu collection's repetitive use of camouflage, balaclavas and red, white and blue has been interpreted as a political message by some.

Vogue.com went as far to say the collection obscured Browne’s considerable talent.

“It’s difficult to imagine any men wanting to wear these garments, despite camouflage being so ubiquitous and easily digested into the male wardrobe” Vogue’s Alexander Fury wrote.

Matthew Paroz, executive editor of L’Officiel Australia said Browne’s singular militaristic theme appeared intentional.

“Certainly the direction would have been set for some time, however the militaristic theme is played up in the styling of the collection, the effect is quite deliberate,” Paroz told The Huffington Post Australia.

“It’s fair to say most runway looks aren’t intended to be replicated in the real world, rather they promote a certain vision or mood,” Paroz said.

For a company that’s collaborated with the likes of Pharrell Williams, had ad campaigns shot by Annie Leibovitz and made over three quarters of a billion dollars, it’s assumed a dabble in creative indulgence would likely be tolerated.

“It may not be a political statement but it’s certainly provocative. The brand is being talked about -- whether it's a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate,” Paroz said.

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