Snake, rattle and roll: Reptilian print is back and slithering down the catwalk

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Forget what you thought you knew about the reptilian print – designers this season have given it a modern makeover. Get a wriggle on, says Gemma Hayward

It's as baffling as ever when a clutch of designers decide, apparently independently of each other, to all back the same trend.

This season it's snakeskin that has slithered on to the scene. Graphically printed on to fabrics and reproduced as textured leather – even the real thing, for the spendy and the not too squeamish.

It's quite fitting, too, given that London's Chinatown will host, in little over two weeks' time, the world's largest celebration (outside Asia) of that fact that 2013 as the year of the snake. So what to wear to see in the other new year of 2013?

Take inspiration from the catwalks, where snake really had legs, so to speak. At Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, the dappled skin was used as a print on more delicate silks and flowing fabrics, lending strictly cut and planar pieces sexiness and sensuality. It's the next version of leopard, in terms of iconic prints that have been given the fashionable once-over, and reinvented as cool rather than clichéd.

The key is in the way you wear it. Ditch the barmaid bra'n'belt look. Snake is saucy enough on its own, so wear yours on loosely cut, almost androgynous pieces – such as the billowing, sheer chiffon blouses and T-shirts at Preen – rather than strapped across your anatomy by way of a bandage dress.

Don't stick to classic colours, but try reinventing the print in an unexpected shade. Look out for tinted separates or panelled pieces that blend hue and texture. And don't forget accessories. Shoes and bags are traditionally where one might find this skin, but that's not to say it's confined to them for spring 2013. Be sure not to match all elements of your outfit, for fear of looking slightly too cold-blooded.

But don't worry about being literal, because the snake motif extends beyond just its hide. Serpents featured as clasps and buckles, as pendant charms, on jewellery and accessories. It's part of a wider trend of exoticism for spring, with snakes favourite for chunky cuffs, rings and torques.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

    Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

    £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones