Of all the camouflage patterns, tigerstripe is probably the most instantly recognizable and visually attractive design there is. Produced in South-East Asia during the Vietnam war in a variety of versions, it was initially issued to US Army Special Forces troops who valued its functionality and concealment properties in jungle environments, and regarded it as a kind of status symbol.
Later, tigerstripe suits became available from local tailor shops, and were privately purchased by other personnel – pilots, reporters, photographers etc – as a distinctive and fashionable alternative to the standard olive-green uniform. Tigerstripe has also gained notoriety in popular culture, being worn by Dennis Hopper’s photojournalist character in Apocalypse Now, and on stage by Joe Strummer.
Tigerstripe Zig Zag
US Army Special forces recruited tribal villagers to assist them in the more inhospitable regions of South Vietnam, and issued them with tigerstripe uniforms. One of the rarest and most interesting patterns has been christened the Zig Zag pattern, because of the way the background colours move diagonally across the horizontal black stripes. Legend has it that it also includes a phallic symbol as a sign of bravado for the ethnic tribesmen.
Maharishi Reproduction Tigerstripe Zig Zag
Nowadays, it is extremely hard to find original tigerstripe garments, and even harder for those of a larger build to find wearable sizes, as the majority were manufactured in small Asian size ranges. Maharishi have faithfully reproduced one of the rarest and most desirable tigerstripes, the Zig Zag pattern, in authentic colours, fabric and cut and incorporated the phallic symbol found in the original pattern.
Specific styles of cut associated with this pattern are the two pocket shirt with straight cuffs, pants with two thigh pockets and boonie hat with foliage loops around the crown. These authentic reproductions are a limited edition of 500 sets only worldwide, and have never been reproduced before. Whilst nobody would doubt Blechman’s camouflage knowledge is bordering the perverse in its depth, he has acknowledged the still deeper artist and re-enactor Neil Holdom as the inspiration and resident expert for this project.