Anticipating future fashion

I’m in the middle of a story sequence that takes my hero and his not so dumb girlfriend through Rome on their way back to solving the main mystery in ‘A falling of Angels’. In the story, they are being stalked by a Sardinian boy with an unknown agenda. Also in the story, Rome, like so many major cities, is beset by a plague of enforcement cameras and sensors. Much to the annoyance of the public at large, and in response Paul Calvin, mind reading Detective Sergeant.

In response to such a circumstance, I find myself wondering if veiled hats might not make a comeback.
Audrey Hepburn Veiled hat
Originally part of ‘Widows weeds’ or to keep direct sunlight off delicate skin, the history of the veiled hat goes back to the 1200’s. Since then, net veils and veiled hats have popped in and out of western fashion for centuries. At present they are perennially popular at events like weddings and funerals, and occasionally as part of a stage outfit. Not so much at street level, but even there appearing more of an upmarket status symbol.

Perhaps using some form of Anti-infra red fabric, or ‘dazzle’ configuration, they might even cross the sex barrier to be adopted by security conscious men. Stranger things have happened.

I’ll write it and see how it feels.

Update: As an alternative, perhaps polarised sunshields might take off. Sun or ski goggles that cover most of the exposed face, or at least the visible brow and cheekbones most facial recognition software relies upon for its efficacy.

See this link for how modern facial recognition software works.

4 thoughts on “Anticipating future fashion”

  1. I suspect that it wouldn’t be difficult to engineer an LED to strobe in frequencies that would dazzle a security camera but not be too noticeable to the naked eye. I can see manufacturers selling “novelty sunglasses” that are ostensibly fashion, but would make identification on a camera difficult or impossible. Rather like radar detectors–they wouldn’t be illegal, but wearing a pair would be suspicious. Also it’s the kind of fashion that would trickle down to cheap knock-offs that wouldn’t really work.


    1. Misha, the only trouble with anything relying on infra red ‘dazzle’ camouflage is that IR shows up on camera and actually draws attention to the user. There’s also the possibility that some form of filtering software could be applied to remove the dazzle within a given frequency range, leaving the users face clear as day. I was actually thinking on a sunshield made of a similar material to polarizing ‘Desert’ goggles covering the brows and bridge of nose, or in the case of hats, perhaps a constantly changing mesh veil capable of masking the points necessary for a good ID. Totally passive, and very, very inexpensive.


      1. Yeah, good points. Those veiled hats are pretty cute on women, but I just can’t see them on men. On the other hand, there are a lot of fashions that I just can’t see on men, so you never can tell. Like you say, stranger things have happened. There are those desert hats with the canvas sides, I’ve seen men wearing them in Arizona, it wouldn’t take much to add a mesh front.


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