For a long time I was unenthused by leopard print. Or any animal print for that matter. I’ve always considered it such a ‘marmite’ pattern… and I would bat for the ‘I loathe it’ team. Until recently that is.
My opinion of leopard print still isn’t straightforward. I’ve often found animal prints associated with a person of extreme wealth, unnecessary wealth almost, where said person doesn’t know what to do with their money so spends it on animal print items that they possibly don’t even like that much but are well aware that it shows off their affluence. In the same breath, I’ve often found it associated with tack. Pure. Rank. Tack.
However, of late I think leopard print has had a breakthrough.
Or I have. It’s finally found some sort of middle ground that I’ve definitely jumped on to. In fact, right now, I’d say I was a leopard print advocate. MADNESS.
I consciously keep away from products that have tested on animals, make-up brands and skincare products most notably, and would never support animal cruelty in fashion. But I do also understand that the past was a very different place with different resources and far less awareness to the world of animal rights.
History is one thing, but I struggle seeing how is it still acceptable to some members of Western society to kill animals for superficial gain
Leopard in particular has historically been used in fashion to represent the animal that it comes from; leopard's symbolise confidence, wisdom and power. This is why traditionally the animal would be used for fashion. I just don't think we really have that excuse anymore. Surely we're too 'advanced' to be unable to weigh up what's more important, the animal or the coat? There's still progress to be made but with such prominent designers including Stella McCartney and, most recently, Gucci banning fur and producing cruelty free fashion it's hopeful we're headed in the right direction.
After discovering a collection of leopard print fashion archives, I’ve definitely started to see it in a new light. Here are just a few of my faves from the 1920’s to now.