One of the season’s most outlandish and daring fashion trends this fall is the balaclava. Formerly considered the domain of cat burglars, ninja’s and armed robbers, the utilitarian staple has been revived by none other than Gucci, Calvin Klein, Palmiers du Mal and many others on the catwalk this season.
Gucci, no stranger to bold accessories sent everyone into a tizzy with balaclavas galore in the kid friendly colors of Jordan almonds. The luxury label’s knitted balaclava’s take statement-making to a whole new level with kitschy knitted patterns and exaggerated eye and mouth openings. Raf Simons announced the arrival of the balaclava on Calvin Klein’s runway layered over prairie dresses and orange workwear jumpsuits. While Ermenegildo Zegna’s heavy duty quilted version is taken from winters favorite coat trend, the puffer.
We’ve all seen the traditional low-key knit versions, that resemble surgical masks, like the ones seen at C2H4 that also serve as a practical winter staple, but the latest offerings from Thom Browne go a step further, imitating facial beards and hair. One things for sure, the balaclava has come a long way from its origin as a garment created to protect British troops from the cold during the Crimean War to now being a popular menswear accessory.