Flow Your Style With These Leopard Print

Rudyard Kipling explained to us how the leopard got its spots. However, these stories from Just So don’t explain why our favorite animal print remains just that; but then it was a long time ago, and he probably wasn’t much of a fashionista, anyway

So here he is again, joining Cheetah, zebra, Reptile and the others to walk the catwalks this season. Whether it’s Burberry, the finisher mini from Saint Laurent or sleeves with animal print on a leather jacket (Phillips Lim takes over the biker uniform), you can track them everywhere. In London, Alice Temperley mixed flowers with creatures for a stunning effect, and Ashish showed us how to associate sage with fat, or cat spots with zebra stripes.

Roberto Cavalli, who knows a little more about this trend, has combined maxis and kaftans with crochet, silver and leather, so that the long capes with printed edges of Valentino sweep the runway. Kate Moss wore a leopard print in London, Cheryl Cole wore a wild mac for Milan and Karlie Kloss brought her coach bag to the shows in New York.

The theory goes in some circles that animal prints suggests a wild and indomitable quality in women. It’s true that skins have been in fashion since the days of cave girl, but if you think it’s become a bit of a cliché since then, you could point the culprits to the leopard T-shirt worn by One Direction’s Harry Styles at Burberry s/S14 in London last September. In his unwashed state, he then raised more than for charity – now it’s Wild.

Dress him during the day with skinny ripped jeans (just like Mr. Styles-a tip for men here). In the evening, he will take her little black dress to another level. Soften the look with lace or transparent pastel shades, or stick to muted tones. Better yet, use this as an excuse to add a bolder piece!

Choose plain fabrics if you prefer to make your statement with bags and shoes decorated with prints instead – we especially love shoes! See fedora-leopard spot by Gwen Stefani for a perfect example of this. Some stylists group prints that are not in their natural colors, but we think that unusual colors speak, so follow your instinct.

It makes no sense to minimize the leopard pattern, so peck it. Paint your lips red, do the same with the accessories and go where they will be seen. It’s a jungle out there!

Mary E. Sanders


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