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Leopard Print Is On The Prowl

Aug 17, 2007
Blame DKNY if you must find someone to pillory, them and their cohorts at American Vogue. But, love it or hate it, we are about to see a major Leopard print revival.

At every Wedding Reception, Christening and family gathering that I've ever been to, across several continents and time zones, there is always one. You'll see her the length and bredth of the globe, decked out in head to toe leopard print (even the shoes) usually dancing round her leopard print handbag, I am of course talking about somebody's Aunty.

It's her fault that you don't feel comfortable donning the big cat..

It's her fault that your immediate reaction to the thought of wearing leopard print is abject horror.

That's right it's all her fault. Well, her and Scary Spice Mel B anyway. Eddie Murphy's ex was a well known advocate of the leopard print on virtually every one of the Spice Girls videos. And that's enough to put just about anyone off!

Yet, as I write leopard print is the height of chic fashion. New Yorkers are going mad for it.

You want proof? Check out American Vogue. They recently ran a piece about a long sleeved, knee length brown and white leopard print dress by Donna Karen New York. That piece had a picture accompanying it. It was a picture of four staff writers at American Vogue who had all turned up to work wearing that same dress on the same day. Total coincidence. Not pre-planned in the manner of collegues phoning each other before work to find out what each was wearing and then co-ordinating their outfits. Nope, American Vogue is a competitive environment where staff with a certain imageto uphold work hard to ensure they are at the very cutting edge of a trend.

Take it from somebody who talks to the fashion press every day on behalf of the Queen of Suburbia t-shirt brand. You cannot buy an endorsement like that!

Don't despair though, whilst it might not look good on your overweight Travolta channeling Aunt, leopard print can look fantastic if you carry it off with the right attitude. Think Patricia Arquette along side Christian Slater in Tarantino's True Romance rather than Bet Lynch in long running TV Soap Coronation Street and you're getting there.

The Milanese for example, view Leopard print as a normal everyday part of their wardrobe and think nothing of wearing it. The trick the Italians employ is as usual to insist on immaculate tailoring. The cut of a Milanese leoparad print skirt is a million miles away from Aunt Sylvias boob tube! If they don't fancy the head to toe look then Italians will use leopard print to dress up an otherwise ordinairy outfit. Bracelets, belts and even shoes in leopard print add immediate impact.

If there is a more maligned item of clothing than the leopard print then I have yet to come across it. But as long you avoid teaming it with a cigarette and chipped nail varnish and instead opt for shiny shiny hair, platform heels and chunky necklaces you'll put it off with aplomb.
About the Author
Mark Errington is Marketing Director at English fashion design house Queen Of Suburbia, the brain child of t-shirt designer Danielle Tomkinson. Queen of Suburbia T-shirts. Further examples of his commentary on fashion, celebrity and trends can be found on their fashion blog.
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