Paris (AFP) - It's a sign of the times in which we live: one of the most marked trends at the Paris menswear fashion week is the coming of the military man.
Formal jackets with broad shoulders and cuff embroidery, nylon parkas, camouflage pants, utilitarian shoes and earthy colours -- all saluted the soldier's uniform offered up for autumn-winter 2015.
The tendency was especially noted among Asian designers. South Korea's Juun.J went literally into khaki army drill mode. Yosuke Aizawa at White Mountaineering set up his models around a tent. And Kenzo stressed "survival" and "protection" in a line-up walked out on combat-style boots.
Even some classic European labels such as Dries Van Noten offered officer-like touches to their collections.
Observers will no doubt see the explosive instability in the Middle East of the past three years and China's mounting might as drivers of the look.
But the designers kept their explanations unpolitical. Still, clearly for many the catwalks were the new trenches and wearable war fare was on their minds.
- 'Royal army' -
"It's my royal army," Balmain's Olivier Rousteing was quoted by online fashion site WWD as his file of models showed off overcoats decorated with brass buttons and regimental braiding.
German-Iranian designer Boris Bidjan Saberi kept up the theme, decking out his men in uni-coloured jumpsuits, some with ready-to-billet sleeping mats rolled on their backs.
Sandro's Ilan Chetrite also went military with his collection's khaki outer jackets.
In a way, the fashion troops were making masculine a trend already noted in women's wear for the spring collections to come out this year.
The military motif got a softening in many of the men's shows, with in some cases camouflage pants being paired with elegant evening jackets. And while sturdy Doc Marten-inspired boots were common, sneakers were even more ubiquitous.
This was a modern military man who was more urbane guerrilla than trigger-happy weekend warrior -- indeed, much of the theme was ironic, and mixed through with a make-fashion-not-war message.
Juun.J told AFP that cartoon prints of a young girl's face and of a dove on his field-ready khaki wear "are all symbols of anti-war".
"It's a contrast between the military -- khaki tailoring -- and the anti-war movement. I think it's a nice balance," he said.
Still, the camouflage collections found unintentional echo in streets across Paris.
Real-life soldiers were posted close to some of the catwalk venues, at hundreds of sensitive sites they were ordered to secure in a deployment ordered three weeks ago, after the bloody Islamist attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.