print clothing is a fashion trend that has steadily grown this summer,
and will continue to be prominent through the
autumn and winter. One way that the animal print trend is developing
is that it now includes other animal skins, for example, zebra,
cheetah, ocelot, jaguar, cow, giraffe and tiger. Another way that this trend is growing
in momentum is that more and more accessories have animal print
The secret of
wearing an animal based pattern fashion trend successfully, is to relate the volume
of pattern to your personality. If you are normally an understated
dresser, then select just a small leopard print item. It may
be as small as a money clutch purse like the Blumarine model left
is holding. Or, it could be as lavish as the Blumarine designer coat or boots
she is wearing.
If the full-on glamour look of Catwoman, with shades of the legendary
Eartha Kitt at her most feline, is not for you, then leopard
print shoes or bag can be the perfect answer.
In fact you'll be amazed how many items in your wardrobe
instantly updated with an animal print
clutch, or given an instant lift with some snazzy footwear.
If you prefer just to flirt with animal prints as a passing
fashion fad, then pop this
inexpensive little cardigan into your weekly
shopping trolley at Asda. It would swiftly uplift basic trousers,
skirt or shift dress into Autumn 2008.
Right - Animal print cardigan £16 from Moda at George at ASDA.
Interestingly the Blumarine coat and boots by Anna Molinari are
made from stencilled goat and then trimmed with a silver fox fur
trim. If not an expert or wearer of real fur, it is hard
to tell if the regular pattern of the animal print is leopard,
ocelot, jaguar or cheetah. Unless you have skin references from
real animal images then animal prints can be confusing. In the
animal world there are different breeds and the skin markings
vary. Fake furs today and stencilled skins of domestic
animals offer a sustainable alternative to the killing of such
So to help you choose your fake fur or print, I have made a
chart of real animal skin types.
At a first glance you might think these are all leopard
patterns, but only two are leopard. From left to right
there is leopard, which has both open and closed small spots,
next is jaguar (with a more open paw like spot); at the centre
is cheetah (with a much smaller compact spot). The ocelot has
both curvy spots and short striped areas. Finally the last
image right is snow leopard, which is much paler in tone and has
open and closed spots.
Above we have a chart showing tiger patterns. While no two tigers have the
exact same pattern, there are similarities. However
different breeds such as Bengal tiger and Sumatran tiger show
striation and colour differences. Patterns on the animal's head
have the shorter stripes, such as the picture centre left. The
pattern to the centre right is from the animal back.
Finally, the last two paler tiger patterns on the far right, are
of white tiger skins.
In the last few years we have seen more variety emerging in
animal prints, and manufacturers produce yet more patterns by
scaling them up or down in size.
From left to right the first two types are different giraffe
skins, then a mottled Whitehorn cow, a spotted Friesian cow and
the last two skins are Zebra. The black and white Zebra is what
we all expect of this skin, but there are other colourations in
mountain zebras which often have sandier skin with black or
brown stripes. So don't be surprised to see lots of colour
variations in animal prints.
easiest way to adopt the animal theme is to buy a piece of jewellery
or a bag. An animal styled
ring, cuff or snakeskin style bangle is a fashion trend in
Right - Idol London Jewellery 2008 - Razor Thin - diamond set
ring; a unisex silver ring, pave set with treated black
diamonds, with a heavy black rhodium and yellow gold plated
Male ring: £690.
Female ring : £650.
Idol London Jewellery is available at Jess James London.
Far right - Animal inspired ring from Dior.
Ring Dior "Mitza", yellow gold, citrine, brown lacquer
While leopard has been the most frequently used animal print,
now in the Autumn of 2008 tiger, spotted cow, and particularly,
zebra print handbags are growing in popularity. As with
the bags shown above the tan/beige colouration combination will
For handbags, black and white zebra can be particularly striking when
teamed with bold single colours such as red, mustard yellow or
emerald green. The ballerinas below illustrate this, as
does this zebra bag and zebra print red trimmed court shoe
from Moda in Pella.
The style is from their Moda in Pella Autumn 2008
fashion collection and is the Cici shoes and bag.
Ballerina flats are now a classic feminine, yet practical flat
shoe that most women love. These ballerinas in animal and
snakeskin materials are from the company prettyballerinas.com.
Other styles they stock include contrast colourful bows, piping,
buckles and squarer toes.
They also have a selection of beaded ballerinas and in
autumn colours such as purple.
Top left -Rita black and beige tiger animal print.
Top right - Red buckle and Zebra print ballerina.
Bottom left - Rosario patent to black and white animal print.
Bottom right - Rosario bronze snake print.
Yes shoe suppliers everywhere have gone wild with the variety of animal prints in footwear.
Now we are just as excited by
animal print court shoes, with their statement heels of literally
But be sure to pack those folding flats since the heel height of many
autumnal styles is vertiginous.
This selection of
animal print court shoes is from Moda in
Pella which can be bought on the high street or at their
Left - Moda in Pella Chi leopard court shoes -£90.00.
These versatile bronze and leopard print stiletto 100mm court
shoes with stud detailing are perfect day or night. They would look
great with jeans or a dress, or both.
trim and heel (right) is especially attractive and hints at
Christian Louboutin influence.
Right - Moda in Pella CARIAH court shoes - £85.00.
Made up in Zebra and Leopard print, these bold 115mm stilettos revamp
Available by end of August or pre-order at Moda in
might be attracted to this slightly lower stiletto left from
It's less of a statement heel, but it is probably oh
so very wearable. The animal print looks Giraffe based.
Left - Court shoes from Freemans.
Or, if you prefer snakeskin effects, then these Gladiator high heeled
sandals by Dior should see you through the evening festivities
of Autumn 2008.
Far right -
Dior Platform sandal in gold-tone python finish calfskin with a 12cm
the black and tan animal theme is not your favourite colour
this year try instead animal inspired material in
grey, charcoal or black with white tones.
This grey shoe from
Moda in Pelle has several trends in one shoe.
It has a
patent heel, reptile skin upper, platform sole and buckle strap.
Basically this shoe is an
updated 2008 Millennium Mary Jane.
Above right - Moda in Pelle Autumn/Winter 2008 - Candlelit, Grey/black
patent/snakeskin court shoe with platform.
A key fashion trend this winter is that of the leopard or ocelot print coat,
either faux or real fur.
If a shorter jacket is more your style then this jacket from
River Island Clothing Co. Ltd, Autumn Winter 2008/9 Womenswear, could easily fit
the bill. It's very glamorous, perfect for evening wear, or to be
worn as a short snappy everyday winter jacket with jeans.
Leopard print fur is a great alternative to
the biker look.
The majority of main high
street shops are stocking leopard print or cheetah in faux fur, therefore,
finding a coat to suit you should be easy and the
prices are all well under £100. However, do look closely at each
one, because the quality of finish, length, the colouration, texture and
print vary from one garment to the next.
investment dressing is becoming more important, always
the quality coat rather than the cheaper option.
fashion fans and some older ones too, love to browse Miss
Selfridge because they are hot on the latest fashion trends with affordable
prices to match.
To the left is a faux fur coat from the
Miss Selfridge Autumn/Winter 2008 range.
Leopard print coat £80/100.
This cut out shot - right, is a Star by Julien Macdonald
fake fur coat from the Womenswear Autumn/Winter 2008 Designers at
Debenhams - £80/120.
These faux fur coats are all simple in line, but can be
worn loose or belted for that autumn 2008 styling.
Faux fur fabrics are made from similar man made material as
fake hair extensions, and thus can be damaged in the exact same way,
so be careful when wearing a leopard print fur coat not to let the fur
too near very hot surfaces.
Below left - ASOS.com Womenswear Autumn/Winter 2008 - Leopard print fake fur coat £65,
satin dress with lace insert £35, black patent studded clutch
£18, diamond look necklace £16, grey ankle socks £3, blue shoes £25.
- Leopard fur swing coat £64.99, Louis print dress £59.99,
flamingo charm necklace £24.99, skinny patent belt £12.99. Autumn/Winter 2008 Women's River Island Clothing Co. Ltd.
dresses have been such a hit in summer 2008 that there is a
strong trend in the autumn for the return of full length evening glamour.
But, a more viable alternative for many women is a short evening
or cocktail dress and furthermore, the glamour is doubled if it is made in leopard
Near right - Womenswear at Debenhams - Autumn/Winter 2008/9 - Star
by Julien Macdonald tan and black leopard dress £50/78.
Far right - Womenswear at Debenhams - Autumn/Winter 2008/9 - Pink satin leopard print dress
If you seek a short glamorous dress look no further than
these two leopard print dresses from the high street. They are both
a figure hugging fit and will show off the body emphasising a great neckline,
a good waistline and hip curves. The first is in a traditional colourway
to real leopard and the second dress uses pink and grey and is on
trend with that tulip top skirt.
Finally on the animal theme, some of the prettiest fashion
items I have seen for Autumn 2008/Winter 2009 are separates.
Some are in traditional tan/black tones and others are in novel, non
obvious colourways for animal patterns.
Notice this Dorothy Perkins soft feminine blouse with ruffle
frills in a grey tone snakeskin design.
Dorothy Perkins Autumn/Winter 2008 - Animal print top £28 42.
Look at this lovely full dirndl red and black zebra print
skirt from River Island with its contrast net underskirt.
It's a long way from any original thought of animal prints at
the start of this web article.
Far left - River Island Zebra red and black print prom skirt £36.99 Product number
566065 in sizes 8-18 and also available in black and white zebra
print. This skirt would look terrific teamed with any
number of options, including a cropped velvet, sequin,
River Island has huge range of animal print products
including leopard pendant and heart motif hair grips, scarves
and slippers. Boden has wonderful ballet flats in animal and
Look out for animal prints sold under the guise of
tribal fashion; indeed it is even possible to buy beauty gimmicks such as leopard print hair
extensions. But maybe you don't follow hair trends that
slavishly, perhaps like me you prefer to keep your fashion fads
for your clothing or accessories. There really is an animal print for everyone.
This page has been about some of the new
animal based fashion trends for Fashion Trends Autumn 2008, Winter
Images courtesy of IFTF, Moda in Pelle, River
Island Clothing Co. Ltd., Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams, Miss
Selfridge, ASOS, BHS, Idol, Freemans, Accessorize, ASDA,
www.prettyballerinas.com , Celine and Dior. Thanks to
prshots for assistance.
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