Camel: It Doesn't Matter if You're Black or White

Camel: It Doesn't Matter if You're Black or White
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Unless you've been hiding under an unfashionable rock for the past year, you'll have the word camel firmly rooted in your fashionista lexicon. While it may be hot on the catwalk, some bloggers and writers have noticed that the word itself isn't quite so chic:

Say it with me -- "Caaaaaamel". Sound hot? Not. Try its close cousin, tan -- "Taaaan". No hope.

That's not to mention beige, or "beeiiige," for which my eternal visual is a 1970s car and a white-man afro. But let's try again..."Nude" is getting a little better. "Faun", now that sounds pretty nice, like Bambi only more grown up. But that's not what's in fashion. Camel is in fashion. Camel camel camel. Whether the word is sexy or not it's on the catwalk, on the high street and probably in your wardrobe. It's probably in your mother's wardrobe too, and your grandma's. Camel has been around the block and back again.

Chant the fashion bloggers of the world:

If you pay attention to such things, you know that shades of camel are absolutely huge for spring.

And if there's one colour that has truly continued on from 2010, it's camel.

We've been saying for aaaages that a camel coat is a wardrobe essential

As always, his color palette is built strictly on solids... mauve, nutty browns, champagne, charcoal and that signature camel.

Camel is as enduring a symbol as um... a camel. And that's the funny thing about this fashion trend. The word, the colour, and the fashion context are right on the money for the beast of burden itself. Classic, enduring symbol, kind of ugly but winner of beauty contests, looks best when it's monotone: nod to Sartorialist spot (see On the Street: Camel Roars, Milan), and multiplying most frequently in Australia.....ok so I'm taking liberties a little here.

Yup, without a doubt, you'll go camel... it brings to mind the Grace Kellys of the world; the Audrey Hepburns... The thing about it is whatever your style, there's a camel out there for you.

But the even funnier thing is; camels aren't always camel-coloured. Just as oranges aren't always orange but come in greens and reds, and carrots aren't always carrot-coloured but also purple and white, camels (channeling Michael Jackson) don't care if they're black or white, or brown for that matter.

Back in black, the Saudi Arabian camel struts its glossy coat on the beauty competition runways of the Arabian Peninsula. The Majaheen as she is known in the Middle East is pure black and gorgeous. Fed on dates and honey and smothered in saffron if she wins, black camels can fetch their owners millions of dollars in prize money. Herds (camels are mostly judged in groups, not as individuals) walk for days through deserts, brought by proud owners to take part in the contests. Judges look for pert ears, drooping lips, central humps, big feet, long eyelashes and silky black hair. Sounds like Angelina Jolie to me.

Drop down into Africa and the whitest camels in the world come from Sudan. Not albino, not ivory, they are white. These angels of the camel world are my personal favourite, looking like big fluffy powder puffs. A white camel leads a procession of black camels into the stadium at the biggest camel beauty festival in the world, Al Dhafra. It's a stunning view with nary a beige butt in sight. Local 'camel-coloured' camels are judged too, but it's the black beauties who steal the show. The camels walk a runway in front of judges who swear of their honesty and fairness on the holy Qu'ran. Beauty is a big deal.

And if you're looking for some hot chocolate camel, head to Pakistan. Pakistani camels don't only come in different shades of deep chocolatey brown, they lay claim to being the milkiest camels (camel milk Wiki) in the whole world. Camel milk chocolate anyone? Bikaneri camels in Rajasthan have the longest eyelashes that droop almost over their noses.

Oh no -- camels aren't just camel-coloured. So it really doesn't matter whether you pair a Max Mara camel coat with Prada camel shoes, throw on a Jill Stuart little black dress, go neutral in Stella McCartney browns, or slip into a Victoria's Secret silky white negligee - you'll be channeling camel. And speaking of Chanel.....

It seems that with camel you just can't go wrong. Um, unless those tight camel pants give you something of the toe variety that is...

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