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Wild Thing, you make my heart sing!

I was just about to pack away my faux animal print sweaters, clogs, gloves and scarves, when it became very clear that the trend hadn’t disappeared as I thought it might. For those of us who seized it in the 80’s and 90’s, seeing it come back strong in 2011 and hold on into 2013, was disconcerting, to say the least. But there it was again — this time with a whole new menagerie of fresh new faux animals! So, time to rethink this…

I read that sometime early this year, an online fashion trend website planned to ‘scrub’ their site of any and all leopard prints for fall. There it is — a faux fashion rebellion! Their fashion director felt the look had become ‘ubiquitous’ and unworthy of their site. That plan was dropped soon after she attended the Fall fashion shows. I guess when Burberry does leopard, you can’t deny it, right? So much for the ‘spot-free’ plan….

In the 80’s it was the leopard that added that va-va-voom to your disco wardrobe. And although the leopard was practically the mascot of some couture designers, it trickled down over the years to become the print of choice for even the most pedestrian of apparel and accessories.

Today, the animal print trend is as strong as ever. Cheetah prints, snake prints, dalmation dots, mock croc and even a black and white zebra stripe — all you need is a fierce fashion attitude!

So, leopard prints are now classic, zebra stripes remind us of our youth and as for the dalmation spots… Cruella? What makes them all so strong is their neutral palette — they go with just about everything. Try a little in an accessory or shoe, or go for the ‘full monty’ and find a faux leopard raincoat — I have one and love it on a rainy day!

But it’s definitely the leopard print accessories that have helped this trend thrive through the last decade — everything from pumps to iphone cases look fabulous in leopard and now snake, croc, giraffe and lizard. Gorgeous Leopard Pumps from Sofft have been selling in my store for the last 2 years! They’re classic, like wearing jeans and a silk blouse. I know a woman who wore leopard pumps with her wedding dress, without giving it a second thought. Actually sounds pretty cool to me, now that I visualize it. Bravo to her!

You don’t have to be one of the great movie stars of the past or a glamorous diva to pull this look off any more. It can be hippie or high-end; rock-chick or hip-hop; or none of the above. This Fall, we have a Dansko smoking loafer in a stylized leopard print in the store and soon I’m going to rock them with my leggings and a cozy sweater. These spots just refuse to fade. Wear them and you’ll feel a certain kind of confidence you don’t feel in any other look. Happy Fall!

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