Winter is upon us and the dress code in the Pacific Northwest is gray, brown, and black (likewise in your neck of the woods, I’ll wager…) Well, to that I say: Life is too short to dress in funeral monotones. So I bring you the first in a series of limited edition, hi-color, hi-contrast wearable art: The Dazzle Series.
The design inspiration for the Dazzle Series is World War I dazzle camouflage, a colorful, distinctly unsubtle camouflage scheme used on Allied shipping in World War I (I explain dazzle in detail here. Or you can scroll down for the TL;DR version.)
To me, dazzle looks like modern art. I think of the MOMA, shipping container shops, German design studios. But dazzle is now 100 years old. Neat.
I am launching the series with three tote bags, each based on a specific ship from World War I. Drumroll, please:
The Nebraska bag, based on the dazzle camouflage scheme of the American battleship USS Nebraska. $49, in a limited edition of 100.
The Wakulla bag, based on the dazzle camouflage scheme of the American cargo ship USS Wakulla. $49, in a limited edition of 100.
The Mauretania bag, based on the dazzle camouflage scheme of the British troop ship RMS Mauretania. $49, in a limited edition of 100.
About the bags
The bags are designed by me on Orcas Island in Washington State. They are printed and hand-sewn by my maker in California. They measure 15″ by 15″: big enough for a MacBook Air, too small for a Trader Joe’s binge. The construction is durable poly canvas with cotton web handles.
I’m donating 5% of sales to groups that work for the people and whales of the Salish Sea region (an area stretching from Seattle to British Columbia.)
For folks interested in buying bags as gifts, I have posted holiday deadlines here. I recommend ordering by December 10 for pre-Christmas delivery.
I am working on dazzle camouflage leggings. You heard it here first.
I’m Evan Wagoner-Lynch. I am an artist and writer based on Orcas Island, a small island north of Seattle in Washington State. I wear bright colors, perform at comedy open mics, and occasionally shoot videos. Questions? Contact me.
What is Dazzle Camouflage?!
Dazzle camouflage is one of those curiosities from design history that looks so bizarre, so improbable, that the mind fairly shouts “PHOTOSHOP!!!” But let me assure you, dazzle camouflage was a very real thing. In World War I, American and British ports were as colorful as a candy shop. Cargo ships and warships were bedazzled in black and white stripes and very unwarlike patches of color: pinks, blues, reds, yellows, greens. The camouflage was intended to confuse the aim of German submarine crews (and in tests conducted at the time, the technique worked).