Maharishi’s creative director, Hardy Blechman has been extremely influential in the proliferation of camouflage and combat trousers (or Snopants©) in civilian fashion over the past decade. After seven years of research, he revealed the depth of his exploration into the vast world of camouflage in his magnum opus: DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material). DPM is an encyclopaedic art book that charts the history of camouflage from its roots in nature, through to its adoption by the military, and on to its current popularity and use within modern civilian culture. Divided into two books totalling 944 pages, no other title offers such comprehensive coverage of this multifaceted and highly engaging subject.

Camouflage patterns can be seen everywhere these days – on the uniforms of soldiers, in the collections of high fashion houses, and more generally on the everyday clothing of civilians throughout the world, however, it is often forgotten that these designs are inspired by shapes and colours that have evolved in the natural world for millennia.Now, after a decade of research, DPM Disruptive Pattern Material will be the most comprehensive book ever released on the subject of camouflage. Compiled and published by Maharishi’s Hardy Blechman, DPM is a 944-page encyclopaedic art book that charts the history of camouflage, illustrated with over 5,000 images and split into three very different sections. Throughout this unique book a strong anti-war sentiment is expressed as DPM challenges perceptions about the militaristic, aggressive associations of camouflage and seeks to remind people of its natural origins and aesthetic beauty.

The story begins in the natural world with the colours, markings, and deceptive techniques that have evolved in the plant and animal kingdoms. Explanations are given of spectacular phenomena found among land and aquatic organisms such as disruptive patterns, mimicry and countershading. This section celebrates the diversity of camouflage in our surrounding environment and highlights how humans have, in fact, learnt most of their camouflage tricks from the natural world.

An original take on the development of military camouflage is presented in the second section of DPM with an emphasis on the crucial role that artists played in translating protective colouration and disruptive patterns from the natural world to the uniforms and machineries of war. Many artists were conscripted during WWI and WWII and put to work camouflaging troops and equipment. Since then, camouflage patterns have become strongly associated with armed forces around the world and, unfortunately, the atrocities they commit. Militaries continue to issue uniforms with new camouflage patterns even though they are useless in hiding from electromagnetic sensors on today’s battlefield.

DPM, for the first time in print, thoroughly documents the rise of camouflage outside of the armed forces in the work of fashion designers, painters, sculptors, graffiti artists, graphic designers, costumiers, architects, musicians, film stars, toy designers, and many others. This third ‘Culture’ section shows how, through continued reinterpretation by civilians, camouflage is increasingly being detached from its military associations and often being reconnected with its natural and artistic origins. DPM explores how camouflage, like denim before it, has gone through a dramatic change in symbolic value. In some cases the camouflage pattern has become as innocent and commonplace as the floral print.

This 224-page supplement (only available with the UK edition of the book) is an exclusive guide to the designs used on the uniforms of 107 nations around the world. This is the most extensive guide of its type ever published. It includes full colour pictures of troops in uniform and swatches of patterns past and present as well as a chronological account of each country’s use of various designs. Details are given of the key camo stories such as the development of: the Vietnamese ‘tigerstripe’ patterns, the British ‘DPM’ pattern, the US ‘woodland’ pattern, and the recent digitised designs of the Canadian Army and the US Marine Corps.

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