Wild things: With animal print it's cool to be kitsch

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Don't hold back – animal print is everywhere this season, on scarves, gloves, trainers and even bloomers. It's cool to be kitsch, says Harriet Walker



On accessories


One easy way to avoid animal print overkill is to introduce it to plain outfits by way of smart accessories.

Try changing your spots with Christopher Kane's cashmere mittens (£135, www.matchesfashion.com), or a leopard print scarf. They're a high-fashion hero piece with a heritage: American artist Stephen Sprouse designed a blown-up and cartoonish leopard print for Louis Vuitton in 2007 and the caramel splodges became a cult classic, slung around the necks of A-listers and the fashion pack alike and much copied on the high street. The classic Vuitton version is still available (£715, 020 7399 4050) and as classy as ever, but it is joined this season by acidic bright tiger prints at Mulberry and rich violet-indigo hues from Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent (£650, www.net-a-porter.com).

This season, the belt is key to any look: it should be narrow and fastened at waist height over cardigans and sweater dresses, with the end looped under the strap in a loose knot. And there are plenty of animal styles to choose from in everything from leather to Boden's strokable calfskin (£23.20, www.boden.co.uk).

On top

Nothing captures the imagination like an animal print coat – from Mrs Robinson to Bet Lynch, safari-spotted outerwear renders a woman modern and vivacious yet classically elegant. The trick is to get the proportions right. Longer lengths are best kept minimally styled – collarless, for example, and in wool or gabardine, rather than faux fur. The line should be simple and fitted, perhaps with a Fifties-esque nipped waist or swing detail.

Short jackets can be more daring – this is the place to introduce some fuzz, if that's your bag. Banish leopard print's naff associations with barmaids and working men's clubs: a faux fur jacket or chubbie can be dressed up for a bit of vintage glamour or down for latter-day grunge (jacket £120, French Connection, www.frenchconnection.com). Similarly, sweaters and cardigans are sturdy separates that mean you can invest in this trend without overhauling your entire wardrobe (jumper £220, D&G, www.my-wardrobe.com; cardigan £145, APC, www.net-a-porter.com). Make sure, though, that if you choose an animal print pelt to keep you warm all winter, you wear it in isolation. Don't go overboard with this trend – one layer is quite enough.

On your shoulder

Printed bags aren't just for the beach; they also work well with a dour winter wardrobe to add a bit of much-needed pizzazz. The latest batch of must-have Mulberry bags arrives in stores at the beginning of December, and what a bright prospect they are. Following on from autumn's hallucinogenic fluoro prints, they feature a bleached but vibrant tiger print in pink on white and come in favourite styles the Bayswater and the Alexa (£795, 020 7491 3900). Or there are clutches available almost everywhere on the high street ("Perfect for the party season!" is the advice from most of the fashion oracles), from Zara's roomy envelope clutch to Topshop's slouchy baguette style. Or slip the latter's compact mirror (£14, www.topshop. com) into your bag to add some grrr to the daily grind.

On your feet

What could be more charming, slapping through the urban slush, than Lanvin's leopard trainers (£425, www.brownsfashion.com)? They take some of the femme fatale out of animal print and inject a bit of fun. If you're after something more feminine, though, Stella McCartney's grey leopard heels are a good option (and with this eco-designer, you can be doubly sure no leopards were hurt in the making of these shoes), or New Look's ballet pumps (£16.99, www.newlook.com) are an excellent everyday choice to liven up your skinny jeans.

On the tiles

A party perennial, animal print is ideal for making a festive statement, and works across the spectrum from high-camp glamour to lo-fi elegance. Zara's skater dress (£69.99, www.zara.com) is a young and girlish option, while Project D's asymmetrically draped zebra print number (£210, www.my-wardrobe.com) would work well for a more formal cocktail party – with pared-down accessories, of course. This turquoise silk top by Joie (£175, www.matches fashion.com) is a gentler way of doing statement bright prints, teamed with black trousers and flats.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Geography Teacher

    £100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Temporary Teacher of GEOGRAPHY ...

    Supply Teachers needed in Salford!

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Are you a ...

    Nursery Assistant

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Nursery Assistants RequiredNursery Assis...

    Supply Teachers needed in Bolton!

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Are you a ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments