| Andrea Abrell |
HAMBURG (dpa) – Fashion watchers thought the on-going animal-print trend would quickly peter out, but it appears the opposite is true: Animal prints are everywhere – even in the collections of some big name labels.
Zebra stripes, leopard spots and snakeskin are all part of the current jungle look. Some of the patterns come in black and white or consist of patterned animal shapes. Animals are popping up everywhere on T-shirts and tops, often printed with paws or bear heads.
Animal prints have been a recurring theme in fashion down the years, but this season they are more in trend than ever.
Originally the predator symbolism was the exclusive domain of attention-grabber women but that’s no longer the case with even the meek and mild drawn to the super smart look of animal styling.
“You really need to be careful when choosing what material to wear it on. It needs to be a high quality textile,” says German designer Ritchie Karkowski. If you feel ready to show yourself as cheetah, lion or tiger, avoid cheap-looking synthetics.
“Those patterns look best with cotton or silk,” opines Karkowski.
Animal patterns require restraint.
“The same applies if you have an animal print outfit and wear lots of jewellery at the same time,” says style consultant Inka Mueller-Winkelmann. “You will end up looking gauche.”
Mueller-Winkelmann recommends dosing the animal print carefully.
“Try wearing tight pants and a smart pullover with tiger pattern ballerinas, or a tiger skirt with a simple polo neck in black or brown. You will always look stylish in combinations like that and never overdressed,” says Mueller-Winkelmann.
And if you keep to that rule you will even get away with wearing your animal print to work.
An animal print accessory such as a belt or handbag is another great way to follow the trend. They can really set the tone when worn with a sober coat. A leopard scarf also looks great with a white blouse or pullover.
“But you should never combine leopard with another pattern,” warns Mueller-Winkelmann. “That looks very loud and uncultured. It jars.”
Personal shopper Andrea Lakeberg agrees. “You will always be on the safe side if you keep the animal print limited to your handbag, boots or slip-ons.”
A special variation of the predator look is snakeskin.
“Snakeskin is appearing on a lot of accessories such as scarves and small jackets this season,” says style expert Stephanie Zarnic.
“But the same rules apply to snakeskin as to leopard and tiger patterns: less is more!”