The city of Pune is said to epitomise ‘New India’; a sprawling metropolis where modern academia rubs shoulders with ancient tradition. For Camouflage Commuters, Oleg took to the streets to explore this clash of traditional culture and modern life, which is nowhere more visible than in the all-encompassing headscarves that many young women wear in public. What may have begun as a defence against dry and dusty winds whipping across the faces of commuters has become more of an individual expression of style and prevailing custom.
“Although air pollution and sun protection were big concerns, they were far from the main reasons for covering up. “This is a place where unmarried women riding mopeds or meeting men in public is still frequently frowned upon. You might think the scarves are being worn for religious purposes, but for the most part it’s more about maintaining independence and promoting your own individual look whilst out and about.” A headscarf is a handy way to conceal your identity and continue to live a 21st century metropolitan lifestyle, free from the shackles of tradition.
Oleg’s closely-cropped shots give Camouflage Commuters the surreal feel of a fashion cover shoot. With focus given to the vibrancy and individuality of the subject.
Quite simply, the ubiquity of the head-covering has transcended utility to become fashion.