Jungle Warfare: maharishi SS17 “Tour d’Afrique”

For their spring/summer 2017 campaign, London-based fashion label maharishi takes us on “Tour d’Afrique”, drawing key influences from American and Chinese military gear during the African and Vietnam war eras.

The United States and China are consistently charged annual military base rental fees to operate the illusion of supporting stability and infrastructure within the region, but trade interests play a determining role in many situations. The campaign video and lookbook are inspired by the French colonization and their continued in-habitation across Africa.

A natural, earthy-toned palette extracted from the mines of Africa make up the color range of the season. Coltan, a mineral used in almost all smartphones and laptops, plays a vital detail within the collection conveying how natural resources are the fuel behind armed conflict throughout the continent.

The label’s seasonal camouflage, or disruptive pattern material (DPM), for this season is the Tigerstripe Murale: A tiger stripe base blended with hand-screen print techniques that allow a degree of manipulation beyond that of automated rotary print. Results from this printing process allows patterns this season to be thick and compact. As a part of the brand’s upcycling program initiative, the DMP was also painted onto new-old-stock military uniforms discovered in East London.

Graphic prints used in the seasonal line are simplistically shaped while possessing eye-catching, bright contrast colored-shading that works seamlessly with the beautiful, vivid embroidered styles. They are mounted with an overlocked staple stitch, which is reminiscent of the works of early Ivorian artists. An example of this late ‘60s style and technique of African map embroidery can be demonstrated in the theme-based nod to the American Tour of Vietnam.

Traditional African clothing influenced the silhouette choices for Tour d’Afrique. The Djellaba and Djellabiya are two notable African style robes reimagined by the label. The Djellaba is a hooded, long loose-fitting robe from North West Africa, while the Djellabiya is a hoodless, wide-collared sleeved robe from the Horn of Africa.

Tour dAfrique references the dualistic existence of maharishi and its core themes, highlighting contrasts in East vs. West, nature/handcraft vs. technology, and military vs. pacifist. This collection highlights the importance of Mother Nature’s resources and our dependence on them for survival.

The “Tour d’Afrique” collection first drop is currently available for purchase on their online store and select stockists.

Collection Standouts

6138 Reversible Wide Chino Pants $330.00

  • Organic diamond twill
  • Straight fit
  • Wide leg
  • Fully reversible
  • Two side & two back pockets

6140 Camo Mesh Barbouta $100.00

  • High-performance lightweight mesh
  • Moisture wicking properties
  • Length: 42 cm
  • Width: 24 cm

6014 M65 Cargo Pants $340.00

  • Organic diamond twill
  • Adjustable metal buckled waist
  • M65 knee strap detail
  • Two cargo pockets
  • Secure front flap side pockets
  • Secure back pockets
  • Articulated knees
  • Crotch stash pocket

6112 Camo Djellaba Hooded Sweat $420.00

  • Organic cotton sweat
  • Adjustable drawstring hood
  • Two secure side pockets

6001 Original SNOPANTS® -Straight Fit $340.00

  • Japanese ripstop nylon
  • Two concealed side zip pockets
  • Secure back pockets with press snap fastened flaps
  • Swiss riri maharishi zip
  • Hidden stash pocket at hem
  • Articulated knee detail
  • Press snap fastened fly
  • Internal phone pocket

6024 Reversible Camo T-Shirt $150.00

  • Organic cotton jersey
  • Curved hem
  • Long silhouette with elongated sleeves
  • Contrast DPM chest pocket on reverse
  • Fully reversible DPM: Tigerstripe Murale Forêt / Plain

Company Overview

ma·ha·ri·shi (mäha-rē′shē, mə-här-shē)

  1. pl. ma·ha·ri·shis Hinduism 1. Literal Sanskrit translation: great seer. 2. Aka Guru aka great vision in clothing

maharishi was established by Hardy Blechman in 1994 with the unparalleled vision to produce environmentally-sound, fair-trade produced, high-quality, durable, utilitarian apparel. Seasonal collection often feature strong natural fibre hemp, organic cottons, and upcycled military clothing. The perfect combination of eastern culture influence with the grit and diversity of the city streets.

One of the brand favorites to this day are the SNOPANTS®, a wide-leg, low-rise combat trouser wide with the signature embroidered Chinese dragon on the back of the calf. This combat trouser were a celebrity favorite for over a decade and worn by the likes of Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and Victoria Beckham.

Blechman had been credited by some for bring combat trousers into fashion during its early inception into the industry. Arena Homme Plus crowned the SNOPANTS® ‘the most knocked-off pants of the decade’. In 2000, Hardy received the honor of Streetwear Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.

The label remains a privately owned company and maintains a strong ethos of respect for nature and technological innovations.

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Author: Mike Doering


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