Classy or Trashy? The Reinvention of Leopard Print | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Classy or Trashy? The Reinvention of Leopard Print

Life and Style Writer Kiera Noonan discusses the reinvention of leapoard print and gives her tips on how to style the trend this season

Animal print is taking centre stage this AW18 and has been spotted on fashion week catwalks of urban jungles like London and New York all season, from Tom Ford’s sultry snake skin to more eccentric zebra prints by street wear brand The North Face. However, one print in particular has made a triumphant return to our runways. After a long hiatus leopard print is stealing the spotlight this season. From the likes of high-end brands, including more classic fits by Victoria Beckham to bold neon leopard suits by Tom Ford and high street favourites such as Topshop, it is almost impossible to escape the trend.

Since the dawn of high fashion, the bold and sometimes misunderstood leopard print has come in almost as quickly as it has become a faux pas. But lovers of all things leopard can rejoice once more in the prints reinvention as classy and tasteful. As a historically contradictory and often problematically highly-sexualised print, leopard has been viewed as just as ‘trashy’ as it is classy, worn by politicians and exotic dancers alike. Recently the days of unfairly associating leopard print with poor taste and Kat Slater from EastEnders are over, making leopard print a versatile wardrobe staple for the season, with its impeccable ability to be dressed up and down and adding edge to the plainest of outfits. This season leopard print is powerful, bold, sexy and smart, here are our five top tips on how to subtly (or not) use the print to breath new life into the so called ‘trashy’ trend and your own wardrobe:

  • Shirts: Swap plain black and white for a standout leopard print shirt this season. Nothing speaks sophistication quite like a button up shirt or wrap over blouse. Again, a simple leopard print shirt can be dressed up or down tucked into high waisted black trousers for work or blue jeans around campus. Contrastingly, opt for an unbuttoned leopard shirt paired over a black bandeau creating an effortless look for an autumnal night out. Leopard print shirts can be found all over the high street by brands such as Bershka.
  • High Neck: For a chic, timeless and effortlessly stylish look choose a leopard print high neck top or sweater this A/W. Perfect for staying warm in the cold Birmingham months as well as standing out, a high neck can really turn the most mundane of outfits into a sharp well put together one with minimal effort.
  • Accessorize: If wearing such a bold print is a bit too far out of your comfort zone a leopard print accessory is the perfect understated way to finish of an outfit whilst following the trend. Leopard is available in a variety of colours this season so do not be scared to experiment with this. Add an accent of leopard print in the form of a structured clutch or a belt and if you’re really daring go for a 90s style faux fur leopard print handbag as seen by high street favourite Topshop.
  • Midi skirts: Forget about mini skirts this season, as seen in SS18 midi skirts are still a big hit on the runway. Switch out your summer floral prints for a more autumnal leopard print – the perfect alternative in the colder months.
  • Faux fur jacket:This timeless classic will never be ‘trashy’ and has been in women’s wardrobes since the 1920s. There is something rebellious and edgy about a big leopard print coat, so if you really want to stand out this season swap your puffer jacket for faux fur leopard print. You can pick beautiful leopard jackets up from any vintage store (make sure that they are faux), this will really make your outfit pop in a crowd.

Leopard print’s re-adoption by high-end and high-street brands means it is now available in a vast range of styles at all ends of the price scale. However, with any trend there are things you should avoid: my main tips for styling leopard well are keeping it classic, going for silhouettes that are timeless, not overdoing it (head-to-toe leopard could easily come off as tacky) and, of course, avoiding rainbow-hue leopard print altogether.

It’s back, whether you love it or hate it, and these are just a few of the endless ways to recharge this age-old print.

I'm Kiera Noonan, an aspiring journalist originally from North London, studying Sociology at UOB. Life&style contributor.



Published

7th January 2019 at 7:00 am

Last Updated

6th January 2019 at 9:42 pm



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