Inspiration - Forty years of designer fashion

Women’s SnoPants, polyester microfibre, applied sequins and glass beads, Hardy Blechman for his 'Maharishi' label, 2003

Ribbed cotton vest top, 2006

Leather trainers, Nike ‘Airmax’, 2006

Accession number WAG 2003.30.1

SnoPants, Hardy Blechman

Designer Hardy Blechman first began making clothes in the 1990s from recycled workwear and military surplus garments, mixed with natural fibres like hemp and cotton. Today he is probably best-known for his unisex cargo or combat pants, known as SnoPants and sold under his 'Maharishi' label.

They are usually made from polyester microfibre, a soft, highly-absorbant synthetic material, and have nylon drawstrings at the waistline and legs to allow the wearer to adjust them to size. Since their introduction in 1995, millions of cheaper copies of Blechman’s SnoPants have been made and sold by major clothing chainstores both in Britain and America.

Original 'Maharishi' pants can be distinguished by the embroidered and beaded dragon that decorates the back of the right leg. As with Juicy Couture tracksuits, many celebrities have been pictured wearing SnoPants, increasing their popularity with the fashion-conscious.

Blechman takes inspiration for his designs from two main sources; the environment and camouflage. His interest in environmental issues is reflected in his early work with re-cycled materials and natural, pesticide-free fibres like hemp. His fascination with all aspects of camouflage and utilitarian, military-inspired garments led first to the development of SnoPants and, more recently, to the publication of his book, 'Disruptive Pattern Material : An Encyclopedia of Camouflage'. Maharishi SnoPants, and their cheaper copies, have become a modern fashion classic, combining practical comfort with urban chic.     

Purchased from Cricket, Cavern Walks, Liverpool, 2003.