Animal Print: A Timeless Classic
by Paige McKirahan
As a cult classic that never seems to be out of style, animal print is a quintessential industry trend with its reputation ranging from high fashion couture to cheap ready-to-wear.
Society’s fascination with animal-inspired clothing and accessories has been ongoing for centuries; the true embodiment of the statement oldie-but-goodie, animal print has been in circulation since ancient Egyptian times. Pelts and skins were adorned by those in power to show their prestige and if those items weren’t available, the prints were stenciled onto linen sheaths.
Characteristics of the particular animal are thought to be transferred to the print’s wearer and these motifs are widely regarded as erotic. It is said to that the wearer tends to utilize the prints to accomplish some social goal whether the use is subconscious or deliberate.
Of course, the style has become increasingly popular in the past 100 years as fashion has evolved to be more expressive. One pioneer of this popularity is starlet Marian Nixon; in 1925, she strolled down Hollywood boulevard in a leopard skin coat with her pet leopard on a leash alongside her, turning heads (and most likely causing traffic jams.)
The print then became the posterchild for Hollywood glam as it was widely used by MGM costume designers (Hello, 1932’s Tarzan!) and has been a staple on runways for decades after. The print more so than the fur became fashionable in the late 1940s after Christian Dior’s spring/summer collection, then again after designer Rudi Gernreich produced an animal inspired collection for the movie Basic Black in 1968.
From ‘80s glamazon to early 2000s chic, everyone from Kate Moss to Mrs. Robinson have let their wild side run with these designs that ooze confidence and intimidation.
Marian Nixon with her pet leopard (photo credit to pinterest.com)
It’s a style your mother wore and most likely your grandmother before her, making animal print a timeless yet relevant motif. Some say that the use of the print should be limited to accessories and accents, but we say why restrict yourself? Whether you want to adorn yourself with the print from head to toe or want to adopt a subtler approach, our collection is sure to have you roaring with excitement!