Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Roaring Comeback: Leopard Print

African savannah with its rich fauna has always been a major source of inspiration for fashion designers. While there is no single word to describe African style, exotic patterns and animalistic prints remain the main African motif, creatively exploited and executed for everyday wear.

There was no such thing as ethical fashion in the industry up until the late ‘60s, and Greenpiece wasn’t much around too. Fur coats and even accessories were not fake — the early 20th century designers were actually using the real animal skin for their creations.

These days, it’s impossible to image that the First Lady would dare to wear a coat out of leopard pelts. But back in 1961 the iconic Hollywood designer Oleg Kassini created an exquisite fur coat for Jacqueline Kennedy. It caused an admiration from the fashion public of that time, and Jackie turned the whole generation to the motif. Women copied her look, and that’s why the number of leopards dramatically dropped, which almost led to the environmental catastrophe.


The eye-catching print can be spotted on almost every Hollywood diva of that period — from the blonde screen stunner Marilyn Monroe and her iconic look in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) to the classy Audrey Hepburn and her leopard hat in Charade (1963). Apparently, these beauties made the animal spots timeless, that’s why the wild print keeps coming back and will never go out of style.

The obscure beginnings of social responsibility lied in an idea of stoping using the fur of rear animal species; and the development of technologies had gradually allowed to replace the real fur with faux-fur. That’s why today, this exotic print is barely associated with the real fur. But even if you leave all the moral dilemmas behind, it’s extremely difficult to take care and keep the real fur pieces in a good condition.

The massive return of an animalistic print comes about right now. It seems that the fashion industry is bored with minimalism, and is coming up with an idea of keeping things wild this upcoming season. This autumn, the fashion space proves it again — there is strength in spots — the print remained a central motif of the the Fall 2016 runways.That’s why the mass market stores are be filled with leopard prints and faux furs this season.

Even though the leopard print has now salvaged its reputation, that has once been destroyed by the ubiquitous leopard of the ‘00s, it’s a risky road out there, so avoid the matchy-matchy head-to-toe look. Wanna play it safe? Consider one accessory in the print: a backpack, socks or pointed shoes to hit the spots in small doses. Feeling wild? The iconic faux-fur coat is your answer. Favoured by the fashion icons such as Kate Moss, it’s the easiest way to test-drive the old-school print trend. Join the spotted-and-dotted club!


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