For some, it’s a perennial print that will never be démodé, but to others it will always be timelessly tacky. The vogue for leopard began in the roaring 20s with stars like Marion Nixon and Josephine Baker walking their big cats on leashes (in Marion’s case whilst fully decked out in a fur that could have been her pet’s sibling). Back then, real leopard skin was a serious status symbol. In 1947 Christian Dior first showed leopard print and kick-started a trend that has never really gone away. Leopard stalked every designer’s runway during the 50s, and continued throughout the 60s with icons like Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and Jacqueline Kennedy. Somewhere between Edie Sedgwick’s hat (yes the leopard-skin pill-box one Bob Dylan wrote a song about), Debbie Harry, Joan and Jackie Collins and Peg Bundy the print became a shortcut to punk, drag, kitsch and trash. Because leopard has been the uniform of so many stars, subcultures and style tribes we all have our own deep seated sartorial associations with it… which is precisely why it is so divisive.
Leopard print catwalks the fine line between fabulous and tarty, and for the novice it can feel as perilous as clattering down cobbles in a pair of Bet Lynch’s slingbacks. It might sound a little bonkers but when styling think of leopard as a nude or a neutral. There isn’t much enhance, but it’s more about pairing it nice quality fabrics and avoiding anything too tight, too short or too shiny. Our Ivy clutch provides just the right amount of purr available in two shades of leopard with a sumptuous pony texture (or for those of you who really can’t be converted – try the black and white spot for a subtle touch of animal attitude.) The Lily Mini also comes in the same luxurious animal prints and is a perfect party size, or for those of you who just want to add a spot of leopard, why not start with a leather tassel. Whether you’re a cat lady or not, fashion won’t be changing its spots any time soon.