Over the weekend, the New York Times discussed a boom in the newest branch of counter surveillance technology: Ready-to-wear fashion that protects wearers from government drone spying and other forms of privacy-invading tracking. And, sure, while dressing for drone evasion suggests a wardrobe for conspiracy theorists and preppers, the latest in Stealth Wear goes beyond brainwave-blocking tinfoil hats. Adam Harvey — the pioneer of these designs — obviously thinks he’s onto something. But considering the rise of aerial surveillance systems, Facebook’s face-detecting software, and that one friend who’s testing Google Glass, the threat is imminent. We need protection. right?
Harvey’s designs include rave-kid chic hoodies made of a reflective fabric that make the wearer invisible to heat-imaging cameras and cost about $500, or an LED purse that’s activated when a flash goes off and distorts the photo with a glare of white light; we can imagine this is going to be a bestseller with paparazzi-hounded celebs. He’s also developed a series of hair and makeup tutorials called CV Dazzle, a way of employing geometric facepaint designs and hairstyles to break up the face shape in a way that makes it impossible for machines to detect it. He’s mostly inspired by tribal paint and “high-fashion aesthetics from the club scene London,” which combined gives the impression of a Juggalo from the future moonlighting in a Flock of Seagulls cover band, this time the photos are totally Facebook-tag proof.
“These pieces are designed to live with [surveillance], to cope with it – to live in a world where surveillance is happening all the time,” Davis notes on his website. And despite the trend’s recent attention online and the story in the Times, Stealth Wear is still fairly niche; drone-proof clothing is for the person with a reason to be stalked by drones in the first place. Which means one thing: Harvey should nab Edward Snowden as the face of Stealth Wear’s fall campaign.