on May 22, 2012 - 8:26pm
What is it about animal print that makes it so glam despite the less than fashionable thinking that associates it with the tacky side of style?
First of all, it’s fun and it is just downright glamorous. There is an old Hollywood film star feel to animal prints. Marilyn Monroe was a fan. Others film stars like Ursula Andress, Bridgette Bardot and Catherine Deneuve made animal prints synonymous with sophisticated, seductive sex appeal through the 50s and into the 60s. Who can forget that look -- huge dark sunglasses, a leopard print head scarf while driving in a sports car in the French Riviera.
There’s also a long history of its use by the fashion elite. Christian Dior introduced us to animal prints back in 1947 with his spring/summer collection featuring a “Jungle” day dress and an exquisite silk chiffon evening gown aptly named “Afrique”. Coming after the Second World War, designers were trying to re-inject some glamour back into fashion after years of plain fabric rationed dressing and home sewing.
Animal prints are also a perfect way to add a touch of the “mad and bad” to your outfit. You don’t have to go for full on. If you’re afraid of getting too far out of your comfort zone, go from being a mouse to a tiger with just a pair of animal print shoes, a bag, gloves or a scarf.
There are some commonly held opinions on the dos and dont's of how to wear prints. I don’t agree with any of those opinions. Follow a few basic rules, and you’ll be fine.
Combining different prints does not have to mean style disaster. It’s on-trend right now to wear more than one piece at a time. The fashion savvy to mix it up will make you stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
It’s not only about combining prints, it’s also about combining textures and colours. But don’t overdo it -- a faux fur leopard print coat worn with a fluffy cheetah bag and fuzzy animal print boots will make you look like an extra in The Flintstones. Instead go for a simply cut jersey or silk dress in a pale cheetah print. Toss this over with a darker leopard fur coat and accessorize with a pony skin shopper bag. Done well, you can look femme fatal yet classy, risk taking yet fun.
Whatever print you choose -- go forward, be bold and deck yourself out in the style of the urban jungle.
~Kate de Lacy @fashionedgy
Kate de Lacy is a writer currently residing in Bath, London. She has many passions and wears many fashionable hats including those of fashion blogger, journalist, illustrator, art historian and traveler. Kate is currently looking for an opportunity to move to the United States.
Image Source: Kate de Lacy, All Illustrations are copyright and sole property of Kate de Lacy and may not be used without her permission.