By Michelle Crowe
Alice de Janzé in the Happy Valley colony, Kenya. Sad story, mad style.
Oh, to be at camp, whether in the woods of Maine or the Kenyan savannah. There’s something so freeing in the idea of being far from home, roughing it, and writing letters to the people back home. In these letters daily adventure can be spun into a grand tales, which over the years will become family legends.
Camp is a week or weeks of romance, courage, and friendship—the ultimate summer experience.
These days, camp trunks are likely full of athletic gear emblazoned with logos or slogans, but there will always be a place for gear descended from the practical chic of safari wear. The lightweight versatility of khaki, the lovely shades of cream and white, the smart addition to so many items—I mean, slim cargo pants and a great white shirt against a bit of a tan make anyone look like a rugged movie hero.
Ernest Hemingway and fourth wife Mary Welsh in camp.
Of course fashion loves camp chic.
A Ralph Lauren image shot by Bruce Weber.
Ralph Lauren has safari style in his playlist forever, perhaps giving many of us a glimpse at what an East African camp experience could be. From his burnished vision it appears to be all languidly taking tea with lions and enjoying multi-course dinners served with Sterling and crystal—how soon shall we book?
Liya Kebede shot for J. Crew.
Banana Republic, as some may remember, premiered in upscale shopping centers with Jeeps and other fantastic props around the store. Shopping there felt like a real trek of style discovery. No accident really, founders Mel and Patricia Ziegler were journalists, one a writer, one a photographer, who did not enjoy the trendy (often polyester) togs of the late 1970s and began buying up dead stock of khaki utility jackets and perfect linen shirts as they covered stories overseas.
Banana Republic Beverly Hills photographed by co-founder Mel Ziegler.
Gap founders Don and Doris Fisher snapped up the concept and to this day, there is an element of safari heritage at BR.
Fashion will always love camp clothes because they represent all we love here at Style Endures. Each item serves a purpose, offers a sense of timelessness that transcends trends and allows the wearer a romantic tie to the past while looking completely appropriate, not like a costume. See you in camp.
Lauren Bacall on the set of The African Queen.