Animal print clothing and accessories are incapable of going unnoticed; it is in their DNA to astound and act as style protagonists.
It is not by chance that they have captured our attention since ancient times, when wearing animal hides and dappled clothing was considered a symbol of wealth and power.
The designers who have exalted animal prints
The long trajectory of animal prints in the fashion world started in 1947. The symbolic date is considered as 12 February, when debuting his first haute couture collection, Christian Dior showcased pieces inspired by his muse Mitzah Bricard. The enveloping Jungle, a day dress featuring a leopard print, and Afrique, the evening version with a chiffon skirt, have become iconic.
The celebrities of the time could not get enough of animal print. The fur-trimmed cape worn by Marilyn Monroe in the film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” in 1953 and the leopard print coats worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, Liz Taylor and even Queen Elizabeth II are simply unforgettable. Then in the 1960s, through Ken Scott and Valentino, animal print started to become a symbol of transgression, which would boldly set it apart in subsequent decades.
Animal prints then started to become staples in high fashion, to the point that they also began to feature in items from men’s haute couture fashion collections. In the 1980s and 1990s, leopard and tiger prints were considered absolute must-haves by numerous designers. First Roberto Cavalli, then Krizia and Gianni Versace contributed to making animal prints ever-more audacious.
2020: the leopard finally changes its spots
Animal prints are considered a fashion perennial, the indomitable protagonist of trends for the better part of a century; however, they are now taking on a new guise. Setting aside the extravagance that has always accompanied them, they are now being transformed into new key elements in outfits.
Animal prints are no longer the preserve of outlandish and provocative outfits. This year they are winning the accolade of “this season’s must-have”, particularly in the accessories segment. In the Baldinini autumn/winter collection, animal prints are the protagonists of casual looks, as well as being incorporated into pieces as distinctive details. The zebra pony print trekking boots and cowboy boots are two of the collection’s key pieces.
The eccentricity of animal prints therefore endures; however, it has adapted to a more sophisticated language that doesn’t intend to shock and awe but rather to enhance styles and the wearer.