(in association with the Imperial War Museum)
Introduction by Jonathan Miller
27.00 x 24.60 cm
280 Illustrations, 248 in colour
First published 2009
Camouflage has become a global cult in today's fashion and design world. Its fascinating story tells of the interplay between military developments and the worlds of art, design and popular culture on the other.
The animal kingdom provides examples of all the essential principles of camouflage: the chameleon, whose colours change to merge with its setting; the zebra, whose vivid stripes disrupt its outline and make it more difficult for predators to sight from a distance; the stick insect that pretends to be what it's not.
New creativity in the military art of disguise was spurred in the First World War by the threats of aerial reconnaissance and long-range enemy fire. By the 1970s, disruptive pattern uniforms were worn by soldiers of most nations, and had become as much a way of identifying allegiance as of protecting from detection. Today, as modern advances in imaging techniques make straightforward visual deception redundant, scientists are developing super high-tech solutions.
But camouflage has flourished in peace as well as in war.
Artists and designers have explored the themes and extremes of camouflage and optical illusion, while camouflage patterns in clothing and accessories have filtered from the street to the catwalk and back again.