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Fall 2016 Trend Alert: The Magnetism Of Animal Prints

The fall 2016 trend tour continues with animal prints.  These spotted looks seem to have become almost a staple in recent years – a secret wardrobe weapon that adds easy drama and glamour to almost any outfit.  In tones of brown, black, beige and white they act as neutrals, effortlessly worn with a wide range of colored separates.  But designers have gotten playful too, introducing these prints in a variety of fun color combinations.

variations in animal prints

variations in animal prints

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Animal print make impeccable street style

Animal print makes for impeccable street style

Blogger Streetstyle. Leandra Medine, of man Repeller, wears Dries van Noten leopard pants on November 10 2016

Blogger Streetstyle. Leandra Medine, of man Repeller, wears Dries van Noten leopard pants on November 10 2016

Oscar winning actress Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winning actress Jennifer Lawrence

Katy Perry rocks her animal print November 9 2016

Katy Perry rocks her animal print November 9 2016

Dennis Basso Fall 2016. Animal print makes a dramatic entrance and exit

Dennis Basso Fall 2016. Animal print makes a dramatic entrance and exit

The versatility of animal prints speak to many different personalities

The versatility of animal prints speaks to many different personalities

Just how did these prints come to play such a key role in fashion?  It likely started back in the 18th century as Europeans began traveling to Asia and Africa, returning home with the skins of leopards, tigers and zebras.  The strong, exotic patterns of these skins earned a following and they were made into clothing and home décor.  Soon these prints were also reproduced on luxury fabrics for the well-heeled.

Jean-Georges_Noverre The young Italian gentleman, top left, (this is a detail of a larger painting) is not only sporting a leopard-print waistcoat beneath his blue coat, but matching leopard breeches.

Jean-Georges_Noverre.  The young Italian gentleman, top left, (this is a detail of a larger painting) is not only sporting a leopard-print waistcoat beneath his blue coat, but matching leopard breeches.

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"Fashion is based on a pendulum effect," says Sandy Black, research professor at The London College of Fashion. "Designers need to satisfy a constant desire for novelty. Trends live for a while then people get bored and there is a polar reaction against them. Colour comes after black. Clean lines follow bohemian fashions.

“Fashion is based on a pendulum effect,” says Sandy Black, research professor at The London College of Fashion. “Designers need to satisfy a constant desire for novelty. Trends live for a while then people get bored and there is a polar reaction against them. Colour comes after black. Clean lines follow bohemian fashions.

Samantha Harris' visiono f the history of leopard print

Samantha Harris’ visual history of leopard print

Beginning in the 1950’s these alluring markings, a means of attraction among felines, caught the attention of designers and celebrities and soon sexy sirens of the silver screen including Sophia Loren, Raquel Welch and Marilyn Monroe were making them a bonafide fashion statement.

Dior goes from the floral flowy female to the savage animal female. Dior launched its use of Leopard print fur in 1947

Dior goes from the floral flowy female silhouette to the primal animal prints. Dior launched its use of Leopard print fur in 1947

1950s Christian Dior

1950s Christian Dior

1951 Pierre Balmain's Leopard Slacks. Photo Credit: Getty Images

1951 Pierre Balmain’s Leopard Slacks. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Eartha Kit was the embodiment of fierce style

Eartha Kit was the embodiment of fierce style

From a 1954 issue of Vogue magazine

From a 1954 issue of Vogue magazine

The iconic Marilyn Monroe

The iconic Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe in a leopard print coat

Marilyn Monroe in a leopard print coat

Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"1953

Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”1953

The beautiful Elizabeth Taylor

The beautiful Elizabeth Taylor

Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch

Jayne Mansfield was anothr sex symbol of the 50s that everyone loved to emulate

Jayne Mansfield was another sex symbol of the 50s that everyone loved to emulate

Style icon Debbie Harry 1979

Style icon Debbie Harry 1979

Kate Moss in a Dolce & Gabbana leopard print dress photographed by Mario Testino in 2013

Kate Moss in a Dolce & Gabbana leopard print dress photographed by Mario Testino in 2013

Versatile and always fresh, animal prints can turn any outfit into something bold and daring or sophisticated and classic.  It all depends on the styling.   Be careful, as these prints can overwhelm.  But even in small doses, such as animal print bags, shoes or accessories, they are a sure-fire way to add a chic edge to your look.

Adrienne Landau RTW Fall 2016

Adrienne Landau RTW Fall 2016

Akris

Akris

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Alice + Olivia

Alice + Olivia

Alice + Olivia

Alice + Olivia

Antonio Marras

Antonio Marras

Antonio Marras

Antonio Marras

Antonio Marras

Antonio Marras

Blumarine

Blumarine

Cushnie et Ochs

Cushnie et Ochs

Botega Veneta

Bottega Veneta

Burberry

Burberry

Carven

Carven

Dennis Basso

Dennis Basso

DennisBasso

DennisBasso

Dennis Basso

Dennis Basso

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein

Emanuel Ungaro

Emanuel Ungaro

Fendi

Fendi

Fendi

Fendi

Ermanno Scervino

Ermanno Scervino

Givenchy

Givenchy

Givenchy

Givenchy

Givenchy

Givenchy

Givenchy

Givenchy

House of Holland

House of Holland

House of Holland

House of Holland

House of Holland

House of Holland

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant

Kenzo

Kenzo

Ermanno Scervino

Ermanno Scervino

Kenzo

Kenzo

Kenzo

Kenzo

Longchamp

Longchamp

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Philipp Plein

Philipp Plein

Prada

Prada

Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli

Son Jung Wan

Son Jung Wan

Son Jung Wan

Son Jung Wan

Son Jung Wan

Son Jung Wan

Don’t be shy girls, put on those spots and ROAR!