Camouflage can be a funny old thing, generally it will allow you to blend seamlessly in to your surroundings, i.e. for a woman in 2014 London, jeans, knee boots, dark coat. But sometimes on those very special occasions there is that rare and shocking phenomenon – dazzling camouflage. Dazzle camouflage is exemplified by Eddie Izzard’s ‘first battalion transvestite division’, blinding the opposition with their sheer glamour and well-put-togethery-ness. Well a common world view was clearly shared dear Eddie and Norman Wilkinson. ‘Who he?’ you say. He was a Lieutenant with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and in 1917 had the cunning planning to paint British merchant ships with contrasting abstract patterns in order to confuse the enemy. It was thought that it would be difficult to determine the direction, turning and speed of the vessels because the common lines of the boat would be broken up and concealed by the pattern.
In homage to his frankly genius idea, which by the way seems to have been very effective, the Imperial War Museum has teamed up with Patternity to create a range of products inspired by the bold designs of Mr. Wilkinson, known as the Fleet of Dazzle.
I really like a black and white design scheme a the beI think. I particularly like the mug and tote bag, and a think a nice bold tea-towel can really brighten up a kitchen. Like a good rug in a living room, it really ties the room together man.
I’m already well under way with planning Christmas shopping ideas (I bought my first present the other day), and I can think of several people who may appreciate this range. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, you can’t beat a good museum gift shop for original present ideas.
Right, I’m off to find my own dazzle camouflage now because I’m going out for dinner tonight at my favourite London restaurant, the Wolseley, and frankly blending in is boring.