Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top Ten for Fall 2011 Part 4 - Animal Prints

4. Animal Prints

Animal prints have been strong for many seasons, and this one is no exception. The biggest change we'll notice this fall is the return of the big cats. After being eclipsed by the zebra for the last couple of seasons, the large cats are again on the prowl!
Betsey Johnson RTW21
Expect to see lots of leopard, cheetah, and tiger, in both the expected colorways and also in shades of gray. The dramatic Betsey Johnson ensemble at left features top to bottom leopard prints, offset with a black jacket and shoes. It's very easy to get caught up in leopard prints (what's not to love?), but be sure when wearing them to
Dolce & Gabbana RTW54
Betsey Johnson RTW Collection Fall 2011.
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Dolce & Gabbana RTW Collection Fall 2011.
Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
break them up with a solid color, otherwise, the look could wind up being more "Fred Flintstone", than high style. Note the nearly head-to-toe Dolce & Gabbana look above right, is anchored with black socks and shoes. Another Dolce & Gabbana look (below left)is also
Dolce &Gabbana RTW65
anchored with black socks which reflect the lacy straps of the dress and star-printed white pumps which pick up the background color of the snow leopard print. Roberto Cavalli uses black in the midsection of his top-to-bottom design (right) to break up the expanse of the print. In most instances, however, it's a bit
Roberto Cavalli RTW40
Betsey Johnson RTW Collection Fall 2011. Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Roberto Cavalli RTW Collection Fall 2011.
Photo courtesy of Elle Magazine.
safer to use your animal prints as accents rather than the reverse. The retail examples below are a great starting point.
Michael KorsTheodora and CallumCurrent
MICHAEL Michael Kors Leopard-Print Rabbit Vest
$450.00
Neiman Marcus
Theodora & Callum Leopard-Print Scarf
$155.00
Current/Elliot Stilleto Leopard Skinny Jeans
$198.00
The photos above demonstrate some great ways to incorporate leopard into casual outfits. A leopard vest looks stunning when paired with a neutral bottom and brown accessories. A leopard-print scarf can totally transform a pair of jeans and a simple black top. Leopard-print jeans make a strong statement on their own and are best mated with a simple black top and accessories.
St JohnRuffle BlouseLe Suit Herringbone
St. John Leopard Trimmed Boucle Jacket
$896.00
Neiman Marcus
Leopard-Print Silk Ruffle Blouse
$79.00
Le Suit Herringbone Pantsuit with Leopard-Print Scarf
$200.00 $99.99
The examples above and right demonstrate how beautifully animal prints can be incorporated into the career wardrobe. The neutral suit from St. John is accented with just a touch of leopard at the edges and is perfectly complemented with a matching blouse and neutral shoes. The Le Suit example, upper right, shows just how far a tiny bit of leopard can go, as paired with the scarf. An animal-print blouse peeking from a neutral hued suit would be just as effective. The center photo demonstrates how beautifully a leopard-print can marry neutrals with black. The trousers pick up the background color of the print, while the black jacket and accessories add a perfect punch, bringing out the leopard's spots. The Dolce & Gabbana example (right) showcases one of the season's hottest colors as a background to the leopard-print. The long cardigan is teamed with a matching blouse and scarf and then paired with a black leather skirt to create a look both classic and totally modern.

Dolce and Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana Long Leopard-Print Cardigan
$1,795.00
Neiman Marcus
Jean Paul GautierBluemarineRoberto Cavalli
Jean Paul Gaultier Flocked Leopard Tee
$395.00
Neiman Marcus
Bluemarine Fox-Collar Leopard-Print Jacket - $1865
and Matching Pencil Skirt - $775.00
Nordstrom
Roberto Cavalli Leopard-Print Asymmetric Neckline Dress
$995.00
Neiman Marcus
If you're seeking a polished and sophisticated day to evening look, leopard fits the bill once again. In the photos above, leopard is the standout element, and is enhanced with simple details. Classic pumps, and sheer hosiery are all that's needed to complete the ensemble.
Marc JacobsMichael KorsRuffle Blouse2
MARC by Marc Jacobs 'Sphinx' Velvet Midi Skirt
$428.00
Nordstrom
MICHAEL Michael Kors Asymmetic Leopard-Print Top
$160.00
Neiman Marcus
Leopard-Print Silk Ruffle Blouse
$79.00
Spiegel
BARGAIN!
If fun and funky is the vibe you're after, you can once again count on animal prints to deliver. In the example, above left, a leopard-print midi skirt is paired with a chunky cable knit black sweater. Short black socks and lace-up shoes complete the look here, but black booties, another of the season's hottest looks could be easily substitued. In the center example, the MICHAEL Michael Kors top is paired with leggings of a neutral color. One of the great things about leopard, however is how it works with almost any other solid hue. You could also try black leggings, or for the more daring, red or purple. A bootie or gladiator sandal in a matching tone with the pants will complete the look, along with, perhaps, a long, bold statement necklace. One of the things I love most about animal prints is their versatility. The blouse featured in the ensemble, upper right, is the same one shown in the section showcasing career styles. Trade the black jacket and neutral pants for black leggings and a white blazer; add a wide belt, and toss on a contrasting animal print scarf and you have a completely differnent look.
What Goes AroundLauren DressRevers Long Coat
What Goes Around Comes Around Leopard-Print Fur Vest
$572.00
Neiman Marcus
Lauren by Ralph Lauren 3/4 Sleeve Leopard-Print Dress
$149.00
Bloomingdale's
Long Reversible Leopard Fleece Robe-Coat
$134.00 $79.99
Newport News
BARGAIN!
Animal prints are right on track when it comes to every-day elegance. In the example, above left, an on-trend leopard-print fur vest is combined with a simple black top and wide-leg red pants for an easy day-time elegance. It doesn't get much easier than the ensemble in the center photo. A basic leopard-print dress when worn with tall boots and a chunky cuff bracelet can take you almost anywhere in style. If it's drama, you're seeking, then the look on the upper right is your ticket. Basic black from head to toe accented with a long robe-coat lined in leopard and some chunky gold jewelry will take you almost anywhere in high style.

Of course one of the best things of the season is the wide array of offerings in cat-print footwear and handbags. A few years back, a prominent fashion editor deemed leopard, "the new neutral", so feel free to choose your favorites to add spice to all your standby basics. The selections below are some of my favorites from this year's retail offerings.
Betsy Johnson DiskoChinese LaundryColor Craze Leopard Ballerina
Betsey Johnson 'Diskko' Platform Pumps
$129.99
Dillard's
Chinese Laundry 'Haylie' Peep-Toe Pumps
$89.99
Dillard's
Color Craze Leopard Ballerina Flat
$24.00 $15.99
J.C. Penney
BARGAIN!
Leopard Cuff BootieGuess KankikanaSam Edelman Uma
Leopard Cuff Booties
$64.00 $34.00
Newport News
BARGAIN!
Guess Kanikanka Platform Sandals
$125.00
Dillard's
Sam Edelman 'Uma' Boots
$250.00
Dillard's
Steve Madden Kitten HeelBrian Atwood OstrichEnzo Angiolina
Steven by Steve Madden 'Hollie' Pumps
$149.99
Dillard's
Brian Atwood Metal Heel Leopard Print Pumps w/Genuine Ostrich Feathers
$1,450.00
Nordstrom
Enzo Angiolini 'Mistle' Pumps
$89.95
Nordstrom
Sam Edelman LornaSteve Madden PumpVia Spiga Iris Sandal
Sam Edelman 'Lorna' Pumps
$194.95
Nordstrom
Steven by Steve Madden 'Fierse' Pumps
$189.95
Nordstrom
Via Spiga 'Iris' Sandals
$225.00
Nordstrom
Brian Atwood DidiJimmy Choo FinlayMichael Kors Sneaker
Brian Atwood 'Didi' Calfskin Leopard-Print Ankle Boots
$1,100.00
Saks Fifth Avenue
Jimmy Choo 'Finley' Leopard-Print Haircalf Ballet Flats
$645.00
Saks Fifth Avenue
MICHAEL Michael Kors City Leopard-Print Haircalf & Patent Leather Hi-Top Sneakers
$160.00
Saks Fifth Avenue
Charlotte Olympia TigerDolce and Gabbana GreenPrada Leopard Platform
Charlotte Olympia Two-Face Lace-Up Booties
$995.00
Neiman Marcus
Dolce & Gabbana Leopard-Print Bow Pumps
$675.00
Neiman Marcus
Prada Leopard Platform Pumps
$990.00
Neiman Marcus
Jimmy Choo Cap ToeGiuseppe Zanotti Tall BootValentino Studded Ankle Wrap
Jimmy Choo Cap-Toe Leopard Pump
$795.00
Neiman Marcus
Giuseppe Zanotti Leopard-Print Platform Boots
$2070.00
Neiman Marcus
Valentino Studded Ankle-Wrap Leopard Pumps
$1075.00
Neiman Marcus
And now for some great handbags...
ValentinoYSLKate Spade
Valentino 'VaVaVoom' Small Flap Bag
$2,195.00
Saks Fifth Avenue
Yves St. Laurent Leopard Print Tote
$2,395.00
Neiman Marcus
Kate Spade 'Darya' Leopard Tote
$995.00
Saks Fifth Avenue
Nine WestChristian LouboutinBetsey Johnson Frilled Out Tote
Nine West Calf-Hair Tote
$295.00
Nordstrom
Christian Louboutin 'Sweet Charity' Haircalf Shoulder Bag
$1,795.00
Saks Fifth Avenue
Betsey Johnson 'Frilled Out' Tote
$248.00
Nordstrom
Daisy FuentesMundiBrash Tyler Satchel
Daisy Fuentes 'Marcia' Satchel
$69.00 $48.30
Kohl's
BARGAIN!
Mundi Mesh Leopard Cross-Body Handbag
$40.00 $28.00
Kohl's
Brash 'Tyler' Satchel
$22.99
Payless Shoe Source
BARGAIN!
And there you have it...my take on the "Year of the Cat". Sorry for such a long post, but if you're anything like me, there's just a lot to love with this trend. Hopefully you've found something you'd like to add to your fall wardrobe. With prices ranging from around $23.00 to $2,300.00, there appears to be something waiting for just about everyone!

Stylishly yours,

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