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Trends for Fall '09: Animal Prints


Ah, the animal print. You know what's great about the animal print? It's a trend that seemingly "comes back" every other year, which means each time it comes back, it rapidly disappears again. Seriously, it seems like it's always "coming back," until the public almost uniformly rejects it. Can you tell we hate animal prints? If shoulder pads make us think of Joan Collins, then animal prints make us think of her leonine sister Jackie, and honeys? That ain't good.

Still, like we always say, it's all in how it's utilized. Usually, a hint of an animal print in accessories doesn't bother us and maybe every now and then someone figures out a way to do it so that it looks fresh and interesting, but looking over these looks? We're finding it hard to pick any that we can say we love.


Diane von Furstenberg

#3 isn't bad.


Dries Van Noten, Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain

Um, no.



Blumarine

AAAAHHHH! Our eyes!


Hervé Léger by Max Azria, Peter Som, DKNY

#1 and #3: not bad.


Oscar de la Renta

Mmmm. Maybe #1?


Donna Karan, Thakoon, Valentino

Bleh.


Donna Karan, Valentino, Matthew Williamson, Oscar de la Renta

It just looks to us like no matter how you utilize it, it's always going to look a little cheap and tacky. That's just us, though. What do you ladies think?


[Photos: Style.com/NYMag.com]

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85 comments:

"HELLLOW?!?!?!?!?!?!??? SLUTTY, SLUTTY, SLUTTY!!!!!"


Yuck. Nothing screams "hooker" faster than animal print, but animal print PINK leggings? Dear God, no. If you twisted my arm and made me pick one, I would go with the Oscar de la Renta dress, but even that is just over the not offensive line.


The ULTIMATE Wilma dress - Oscar de la Renta #2!!

someone get the girl a bone to put in her hair.


I don't know... I like an animal print. I think it can be a fun look. Just sayin'.


It just feels cheap. No matter how it's worn animal prints just always scream that the wearer is trying way too hard to get some attention.


The Balmain brings to mind a skeleton costume that you'd wear on Halloween, I'm sorry. I can't get behind animal print, like Ally said, it screams hooker no matter how you wear it. Case and point, Lisa Rinna (whom I secretly adore but that woman has taken animal prints to a whole new level).


are the toes in the matthew williamson shoe photo scaring anyone else?


I think it depends on how the animal print is used - it can look tacky (all of the Blumaine ones) but as you pointed out there are some nice ones too (the Hervé Léger by Max Azria). If it is a cheap fabric though then it should never be done.

(I too have noticed how animal prints are constantly a "trend" - what's that about it? It's like seeing metallics make a comeback...almost every year.)


"AAAAHHHH! Our eyes!"

I couldn't have said it better myself. Well, I'd've said, "AAAAHHHH! My eyes!," but that's the only difference.

Funny, 'cause just yesterday I put a 10-year old leopard print skirt (which hasn't been worn in about 9 years) in the Goodwill bag.


The Valentino bag looks like something my daughter bought from the Limited Too in 1998.


Surprisingly, I do actually LIKE one look...the DKNY ensemble, but not with the leopard blouse, please!
The rest are, well, ummm..uhhhhh....words escape me right now. I'm speechless and not in a good way.


I don't mind an animal print in a shoe or a single accessory, but an entire animal print outfit is as tacky as you can get - unless it's a sequined or metallic animal print - that would just take the cake.


I can't. I really can't.


The D&G looks likes something straight out of Cruella de Vil's closet.
In VERY small doses, maybe.


The Hervé Léger by Max Azria is HOT!!!


No, no, and no.


I agree with the slutty, hooker, cheap, and tacky comments but there is a way to do it right, and Hervé Léger did just that.


I think the Thakoon isn't bad, but it will scream Last Season in a year.

I do like animal prints in small doses (a printed handbag is about all I can do). Small dose, big impact.


Animals do it soooooo much better.


The Peter Som coat might not be too bad if it wasn't worn with men's Gold Toe sox and a dress out of Tinky WInky's reject pile...
And, did Donna Karan have a model wearing fore arm warmers???


Perhaps it's the old greek lady in me, but I LOVE animal print. Since when do always have to be perfectly tasteful? I'll take a splash of ticky-tacky cheetah print to wake up a boring outfit any day.


This walked me right smack down memory lane...at least the multi-pink print leggings did. I recall, with great fondness, an outfit I had at the age of 8. The shirt was jaguar-spotted over pink and lime splotches. There was a sparkly cat over this whole mess. I wore it with a hot pink skirt of tiered ruffles, pink bobby socks, and black Mary Janes. It was my favorite.

Strange, that at 28, I feel no compulsion to make it happen again.


I agree with the TLo wisdom 99%. I will say, that I think de la Renta #2 used the print effectively - if you *have* to use a godawful print, you might as well get some mileage out of it by having it accentuate the model's body - plus, as noted first by Anonymous 9:56 it IS an appropriate fabric for a "Wilma" dress, no?

Imagine - these are made using designer, high-end fabric, and they look tacky as can be. The knock-offs of the knock-offs are going to be eye-searingly hideous.


p.s. Mark my words, the Dries Van Noten is going to be knocked-off in "Women's" sizing in shiny polyester.

Need I say (as someone who has, less than a decade ago, worn sizes in that range), it will do no favors?


The only time I can remember animal print looking chic and youthful was when Gwen Stefani wore that leopard print dress at the Grammys a few years ago. It had a great edge to it the way it was dipped in green.

http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2006/gallery/gstefani/gwen_stefani6.jpg


Animal prints are like a supporting character in a sitcom, known for their little catchphrase: They're amusing at first, then they get too big & get their own spin-off and everyone quickly realizes why they were the supporting character to begin with.

Same withanimal prints: Can be great in the right doses. CAN be. But just a bit too much and you're Edina Monsoon.

I really hate the way DVF combined the animal prints with tweed. That one requires Dramamine.

But I adore when just the right amount of animal print is combined with the right pop of color -- like the Valentino coat with the red shoes.

--GothamTomato


Animal print is probably my least favorite trend of all time, I really just hate it and it always looks tacky except on some accessories.

I'd rather walk down the street looking like Scarlett O'Hara then in some of these getups.

*shudders*


Animal print fashion remind Rosie's Girl of George of Jungle cartoon - and not in good way either!


Gorgeous said, "I do like animal prints in small doses (a printed handbag is about all I can do). Small dose, big impact."

I agree. I have a very small vintage bag I inherited from a friend whose entire apt. was altered to house her gigantic vintage collection. Most of which she wore, all the time. Gowns, gloves, hats, shoes, wraps, all of it.

As for the bag, it's charming as hell but I hardly ever get to use it, as it's tiny, made in the days when ladies weren't supposed to carry anything but a lipstick, a nickel, and a monogrammed hankie.


I hate animal prints. Period. Not just on clothes, but in furniture or accessories; pillows, headbands, you name it. Bleck. Maybe a tiny bit as trim is ok here and there, but generally no no no no no.


I love love love the Dries Van Noten: I think that qualifies as a unique/different utilization of animal prints. It is more an "abstraction".

I also like the Donna Karan look number 1 - this looks like an accessory you can wear till you tire of and then wear the coat with a classic pair of gloves.


I think the reason animal print is rejected is that no matter who wears it, you end up looking like some 50-year-old, trashy gold digger.


I do have a pair each of zebra and cheetah print ballet flats. Must admit I love 'em, but that's the extent of it... won't do any more.


"Brooklyn Bomber said: Funny, 'cause just yesterday I put a 10-year old leopard print skirt (which hasn't been worn in about 9 years) in the Goodwill bag."



Hmmm...so you never know where that skirt may pop up again.

A number of years ago I took an old, pleated, very heavy wool plaid (very Sloan Rangers) skirt to Goodwill. Not long after, I saw a homeless man pushing a shopping cart wearing my old skirt.

Still not sure if that said anything about my taste.

--GothamTomato


I know what you mean about the constant revival of animal print. They do the same thing with platform shoes (which I love), but every two years there will be an article about them being back and the writer always pretends like they haven't been seen since the 70's.
I don't hate animal prints, they can be amusing if you wear alot of black (although they can be extremely bad too). None of the examples really stand out. Maybe the coats.


These looks will be so HOT in Boca Raton this fall! Especially the Oscar D. And he knows it! How else do you explain the models' hairdos?


GothamTomato said...


A number of years ago I took an old, pleated, very heavy wool plaid (very Sloan Rangers) skirt to Goodwill. Not long after, I saw a homeless man pushing a shopping cart wearing my old skirt.
This made me do the wheeze laugh.


Well, there I'll be, this Fall, in Italy, wearing my belted cardigan sweater over my black sheath dress.
And everyone around me will be in neon animal prints, turning to laugh and gawk at the American tourist who is hopelessly out of fashion.

And you know something? I'm ok with that.


i LOVE a leopard print/furry coat. as a matter of fact, i own two


I love animal print, in theory. In practice, I almost NEVER see any I like, and usually when I do it's just a small accessory paired with a chic outfit.

That said, I saw 7 (yes, SEVEN) women with giraffe-print bags on the bus yesterday. Really - giraffe?!?!


krystina - i'm so glad i'm not the only one that went there immediately. "Not bad, except it looks like a rib cage..."

In all seriousness, I have a single pair of ballet flat mary janes in a satin zebra print. That's as far as you'll ever see me go. Beyond that, animal prints are for animals.


I think the problem with all of these looks is that there is just too damn much going on. Too busy all around.


I think lepored print looks cheap in almost every case. But animal print is all how you use it, some people can really work it and others it looks trashy.


Animal prints are classic -- after all, animals have been wearing them for years. My cat, who is orange, black, and raccoon-striped, is very insulted at your remarks!


No!!!

Seriously, the Hervé Léger by Max Azria is "not bad"? That one more than any of these screamed 'tranny hooker' to me (or Akashia, anyone?).

Animal print always recalls, for me, the women in hair band videos... and that is NOT a good thing.


I'm no expert, but the only time I liked animal print recently was in the WWE Diva challenge of Season 4. Chris March delivered the goods for his diva in the charming, cute and appropriate green leopard print costume. Keep in in the ring (and on tacky old ladies' handbags, like my mom's). :-)


I actually like giraffe print. Not the now ubiquitous hand bags, made by our Duchess no less, but as an accent. I have a scarf and a bracelet. I like it because not many designers use it when 'bringing print back' (shudder), it's more easily made abstract, and giraffes are my favorite animal. And for some reason I can't have one in my backyard, so I console myself with the print.


Why does everything have to be "tasteful?" What happened to fun?

I would rather rock a leopard dress in a room full of LBDs than blend in with everybody else. I'm 21 years old and my FAVORITE outfit is a leopard-print dress and red peep-toe heels.


I kind if like the Hervé Léger by Max Azria, but mostly for the shape... I prefer to imagine the animal print is some kind of pebbly leather than a big cat, though. Leather just comes off better for some reason.

My problem with animal prints is either you're wearing an exotic animal, which is kind of sucky of you, or you're just *pretending* to wear some exotic animal, which is just sad and sort of tacky. Rock and a hard place. (I'm more ok with leather because, if it's cow leather, or even sheep, they probably came from food animals anyway. Since I'm not a vegetarian that falls within some threshold of acceptability.)


Oh I am SOOO with you, TLo. Animal prints just always have a way of looking cheap and tacky. I don't know what it is.
In my closet, I have exactly TWO pieces in leopard, and they're both accessories. One is a small evening bag and the other is a pair of 4 inch heels. They are only paired with an all-black outfit and they are NEVER worn together, as I believe that when it comes to animal prints, a little goes a VERY long way.

Let us pray that this animal print trend dies a quick death.


I agree with the lot that it is an accent things at it's best.

However, what I don't understand is...Why always with the leopard, tiger and zebra?!?!

Watch Wild Kingdom or Animal Planet for goodness sake. There are a multitude of visually interesting animal prints in nature. I loved it when Uli did the Rothschild giraffe print in S3. What about ocelot, quagga or, gods forbid, even a little spotted hyena?

And except for Sissy Bear's wrestler outfit "NO FAKE-COLORED ANIMAL PRINTS!"


I fall into the crowd that says animal print is OK when it's just a small accessory.

I have a pair of leopard print ballet flats that are just so FUN to wear! They spice up a boring outfit when I need a dash of something extra in the morning.

HOWEVER, I work with a woman who wears animal print constantly and in great quantities. She fancies herself a fashionista but has truly horrific taste. But it's her and she owns it.

My ultimate take is: If you're wearing animal print, you know what people are going to say and think about it. If you can take it, then go on with your bad self, but if you want to look proper, save it for your bedroom slippers.


I agree with Angel's comment, why not a little fun now and then?


I'm down with the Blumarine! I know it burned your eyes but I think unabashed and obvious is the only way to rock an animal print!


And Oscar wonders why Shelley O isn't beating a path to his door.


Animal print is fine, given that its subtle, like the DVF#3. And animal print should never be worn head to toe, and never ever on a shoe. That said, I'd prepare myself for Lisa Rinna wearing the tackiest of these selections.


The toes in Matthew Williamson's shoe need to see a podiatrist.


Animal prints are like a supporting character in a sitcom, known for their little catchphrase: They're amusing at first, then they get too big & get their own spin-off and everyone quickly realizes why they were the supporting character to begin with.Gotham Tomato is awesome.

OH, but you all just reminded me that I actually OWN a leopard print miniskirt! I used to wear it with a pair of 8-hole docs and a faded SubPop Tshirt covered in sharpied dirty words. The early 90s were a fun time. As far as I remember.


In general, I hate animal prints. I agree that they usually give off a cheap and/or tacky vibe. Oddly, some animal prints I don't mind at all - in moderation. Zebra is okay, and I almost like giraffe prints. I wonder if I mind cheetah/leopard because it implies that the woman wants to be associated with that animal, which just screams of trying too hard to me.

Know what I dislike more than animal print? Animal print in unnatural colors. ICK!


Groan. Add me to the HATE animal prints. They always look like cruise wear to me and wearing them just ages the person wearing them. Also the Balmain looks like a chest x-ray with too may ribs.


Animaints for me are up there with wearing those black city short shorts over tights just doesn't work


WAAAAAAAGH! Not on the shoes, dear God. The whole thing is so tacky as it is, let alone doing it on the shoes.

Only DKNY showed any judicious restraint. At least she knows how to edit a look.


Anonymous "Perhaps it's the old greek lady in me, but I LOVE animal print. Since when do always have to be perfectly tasteful? I'll take a splash of ticky-tacky cheetah print to wake up a boring outfit any day."

i completely concur. and yes, i am greek. shut up.


Anonymous "Perhaps it's the old greek lady in me, but I LOVE animal print. Since when do always have to be perfectly tasteful? I'll take a splash of ticky-tacky cheetah print to wake up a boring outfit any day."

i completely concur. and yes, i am greek. shut up.


Anonymous "Perhaps it's the old greek lady in me, but I LOVE animal print. Since when do always have to be perfectly tasteful? I'll take a splash of ticky-tacky cheetah print to wake up a boring outfit any day."

i completely concur. and yes, i am greek. shut up.


sorry for the holy trinity post :(


honesty.not.pc

I am incapable of seeing animal print with out instantly thinking "HOOKER HOOKER HOOKER". I do not own a single recognizable piece of animal print. Sometimes on shoes it can be hot, but I just don't go there.


Daxx said...
And except for Sissy Bear's wrestler outfit "NO FAKE-COLORED ANIMAL PRINTS!"
~~~~~~~~
NO.NO.NO.
The faker the better!Yes.
Embrace your inner tacky! It feels sooo good!


The old men who line up at the A-Zee on Sunday afternoon to buy their 40 oz.ers think I'm the bomb!


Oscar de la Renta # 2 is not an interpretation of Wilma, it IS Wilma!! I am a pretty conservative dresser, but I must say, I LOVE animal prints!!! Not too many of these, though!


I do love that Donna Karan coat...without the animal print arm guards.

I'm not a big animal print fan either, but I have to agree with all of your selections of "ok".

Gotham Tomato...I snorted soda through my nose.

SisterZip


I don't care what you all say....

I WANT those zebra shoes!

No, not to wear (can't wear heels at all since the surgeries), but for my zebra-striped Starsky & Hutch themed room!


CanIGetYouAnything?

Animal prints. Just repeat it out loud. ANIMAL prints. ANIMAL prints. Do I need to say more?


I don't care what my favorite gays say -- I've always liked animal prints and I always will. I don't like how some of them have been used, but I like a hell of a lot more of them than you do.


Dave said...
...the only time I liked animal print recently was in the WWE Diva challenge of Season 4. Chris March delivered the goods for his diva in the charming, cute and appropriate green leopard print costume.
I have to agree with you, that was the only time that I went, OK, I see how they can work.


The Donna Karan has me retching. A turtleneck, shoulder pads, and an animal print? It burns my eyes.


Sorry, but those are some gnarly ass toes in that Williamson shoe.


Cruella DeVille, Cruella DeVille, if she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will...


Animal prints are for accessories. Or for a nice little camisole as a surprise under a more formal business suit.

My business name is based on a wild animal. I got myself a wild animal print purse, wallet, and business card holder. That's everything in one tidy outer carrier (the purse) so it's not overwhelming. What you will NOT see is me dressed in animal print on a job or even in my home. That just doesn't work.


Oscar de la Renta #2 isn't so bad... if you're Norma Desmond in a turban.


The Blumarines look like they consulted Lisa Frank. I think the 8 year old in me is squealing for them, but every other layer in me is saying, "Shut up, tacky!"
I like an animal print now and again, though. It's just when they're ubiquitous that they become boring. I agree with Daxx - there are so many flavors! Why just stick to the animals that have now become so vanilla?


You know how cheap fabrics look better in black? The opposite is true of animal prints - they make the most incredible fabrics look cheap. That said, I like some animal prints in fur or fake fur, as the lining of a coat. That way you only catch a glimpse, and it looks like it came from the animal itself. I am not advocating taking it from the animal itself, though.


I kinda love the way that Oscar de la Renta abstracted the print on #1. But then I'm a huge sucker for abstracted or manipulated prints. I like the idea of modified animal print, because I do think that starting from an organic inspiration allows you to branch out while retaining a base in familiar forms. OdlR's jacket took a tired concept and made it look like a beetle shell. I would have prefered the color to be a little tweaked though. I guess what I really want from it is something more like Alexander Macqueen's human-animal hybrids.





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