Return of the Desert Rats

Ernest tends to get rather excited when Realm & Empire launch a new menswear range, particularly when the designs are inspired by the functionality and practicality of original utility uniforms worn by the Long Range Desert Group in the Second World War

When a British menswear brand gets to partner up with a historic institution, such as the Imperial War Museum, magical things can happen. Realm & Empire have done it again with their new SS16 collection, inspired by uniform worn by the British Army's Long Range Desert Group, who fought in the Second World War. Functionality, practicality and authenticity was key in Realm & Empire's design concept, aided by extensive research of genuine artefacts in IWM's archives:

  IWM Desert Rat Badge INS 5114

IWM Desert Rat Badge INS 5114

Formation badge: 7th Armoured Division

The original badge is said to have been designed by the wife of Sir Michael O'Moore Creagh, who commanded the Division from December 1939. This pattern of a jerboa (desert rat) was in use throughout their service in Sicily and Italy, and it has inspired  Realm & Empire's graphics for tees and sweaters in their SS16 collection.

 

  IWM Flag FLA5607

IWM Flag FLA5607

 

 

Military Flag: Long Range Desert Group

This handmade ensign was manufactured by members of the Long Range Desert Group for the MFV Kufra, a commandered fishing vessel used for raiding operations into Yugoslavia from Italy in the Second World War. The scorpion is the symbol of the Division, and has also inspired Realm & Empire's graphics for tees and sweaters in their SS16 collection.

 

 

  IWM Map 1

IWM Map 1

 

Escape Map: Long Range Desert Group

This escape map was found sewn into the lining of a beret worn by a member of the LRDG. It has inspired the lining of tees and sweaters in Realm & Empire's SS16 collection.

 

 

 

 

  IWM trousers, Battledress UNI 12843

IWM trousers, Battledress UNI 12843

Battledress trousers

These were standard army issue trousers of the Battledress uniform – khaki with an external pocket to the right upper leg and a large external map pocket to the left front thigh. These features inspired the large pockets on the SS16 combat trousers and map pocket detailing on the shorts and jacket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see how Realm & Empire have translated this archive research into their SS16 menswear range...

Ernest readers receive 20% off the SS16 collection; just quote 'ERNESTSS16' at the checkout on Realm & Empire's website; realmandempire.com. Offer ends midnight 30 April 2016.

This blog post was created in collaboration with Realm & Empire. Read more about the brand in the Ernest directory.