some like it leopard print...
After the fall fashion weeks came to a close (March 5, 2014), we were left yearning for fall in a bad way, which is never good when you consider spring and summer haven't even arrived yet! Lucky for us, the fall collections were, for the most part, very "spring friendly," so we can wear some of that steez right now. One major fashion "yes" we spotted during the fashion weeks? LEOPARD PRINT!
Not only was it all over the runway, but it was also all over the attendees. And while it's standard palette of beige, amber, brown, and black may scream, FALL! FALL! FALL! this versatile print is actually a CLASSIC and can be worn in any season, in any decade, anytime, ever. Yup. To prove it, we're going to take a look at the history of this power print (yay learning!) and show you how you can rock it for spring like a pro!
Ever since we first out-smarted that big cat, humans have been wearing leopard print. Yah, it's actually been pretty much forever. As a rare, and difficult skin to cultivate, leopard was worn by royals and elite members of society as a symbol of status, from the time of the great pharaohs of Egypt (the pattern on the natural hide was thought to represent the stars, being a symbol of eternity) right through to the twentieth century. No matter the era, leopard print carries with it a sense of ferocity, power, sexiness, and elegance. Despite evolution, there's still that primal cue in our brain that sees leopard print and we're subconsciously like, "Daaaaymn, that is a terrifying yet insanely beautiful cat!"
Hollywood starlets of the twenties, thirties, and forties favourited posh, leopard fur coats, and even toted pet leopards and cheetahs around as accessories. Actual living, breathing wild cats. But in 1947 something magical happened. Christian Dior designed dresses with leopard print. Whooaaa! This changes everything! First of all, you no longer need to skin a cat for it's spots. Secondly, it no longer costs thousands and thousands dollars to wear leopard. And finally, this alluring pattern is no longer restricted to fur coats and hats! You'll notice a "leopard boom" in the fifties after Dior's innovative leopard printed fabric took over the fashion world in any form it could manage--gowns, scarves, pants, swimsuits, shoes, you name it. Click through the slideshow above to view our timeline of leopard print and see for yourselves!
Now, let's talk now. The designer collections for fall (and even spring) 2014 had a pretty clear message, WE LOVE LEOPARD PRINT! (And cheetah print, and jaguar print). Here are a few examples from the fall 2014 runway so you get an idea of just how popular this print really was/is:
The fashion week attendees response was just as clear, WE LOVE IT TOO, WE ALWAYS HAVE. Sienna Miller, Harry Styles, Pixie Geldof and Alexa Chung were just a few of the many donning leopard print at this year's fall LFW. And check out Leigh Lezark at this spring's PFW! So simple. So chic.
So how, exactly, does one wear leopard print? This is actually very easy as long as you don't let yourself get bogged down by all the potentially trashy leopard print garbage thrown at you these days. Pick one simple leopard print piece (a coat, a blouse, a pair of ballet flats) and pair it with classic neutral pieces (a little black [or white] dress, jeans and a crisp white button-down, black trousers, a simple white or grey tee, a cream pencil skirt, a classic trench coat), top it off with gold jewelry, maybe a red clutch and boom. You've pulled off leopard print. To make it more accessible for spring, stick to lighter neutrals (whites, creams, greys, even denim), and add a pop of pastel peach, mint green or pale blue!
Check out our Pinterest board "some like it leopard print…" for more outfit inspiration!