A leopard never changes its spots. And for Autumn/Winter 2019, the animal print trend is back again... with a slightly different feel. In a veritable safari of styles, this season's animal print is all about mix and match, with spots and stripes coming together in unbridled harmony. That's right, no longer the only animal at the party, the leopard is in good company as we approach the end of the year. With zebra, tiger, lizard and snake prints, it’s quite the stampede, charging into style-savvy wardrobes for a truly savage look.
From Altuzarra to Celine, Gucci to Saint Laurent, Paco Rabanne to Mary Katrantzou, and more, designers the world over have succumbed to the call of the wild this season. And rather than choosing a single animal icon, this time it's all about accumulation. The zebra joins forces with the leopard, and the scales of the python meet those of the caiman in a joyous cacophony of styles for fun and flamboyant looks. Sophisticated, sexy, trendy or extravagant, all looks were represented on the catwalks of Fashion Week. For daywear, the delicacy of Blumarine and Max Mara’s confident (but always chic) character were a hit. For the evenings, Paco Rabanne sprinkles glitter on zebra, while Hedi Slimane injects some golden magic into the spots of his leopard.
And for those who are still unsure about donning this softer version of exotic skins (generally made of embossed or printed leather), a quick look back in time should be enough to confirm its appeal. Adopted by Christian Dior in his first presentation on 12 February 1947, leopard print is a staple that has survived through the ages. The height of chic in the New Look collection, the epitome of femininity when worn by Anne Bancroft in "The Graduate", and downright punk on Debbie Harry, leopard print can blend into any look, and goes with all the colours in the palette. And don’t forget that the 80s saw animal prints take pride of place in wardrobes of the disco era. The time has come to recycle the most daring pieces.