H&M is launching their bright new H&M Studio SS22 collection for spring. And, the recurring theme? Leopard print! OK so, we hate it and we love it, and it brings back that fun filled 80s vibe. But what is this undying obscession some of us have with leopard print?
Well exotic animals are rare and protected, and so pretty much unavailable as a commodity. To buy or sell a garment or an object made of real fur from any such animal is illegal and highly unethical. We can assume it gives the whole idea of leopard spots a seductive aura of danger and villainy that is so worshipped among many fashionistas, even if we are just talking about replicas printed onto synthetic material.
OK so it is kind of wild, we’re sure Tarzan would agree. It is after all a leaf out of his style book and typical for his signature look. Not everyone’s a fan though. Former style police Trinny and Suzanna of TV’s “What not To Wear”-fame spitefully labelled leopard print garments worn by any bottle bleached blondes above the age of 25 as “barmaid style”. No, it is not a compliment. It meant vulgar, sorry. Still, animal print has been popular among the jet set elites since the beginning of last century and perhaps beyond.
Leopard print malliots was frequently spotted on the tan, fit bodies of holiday makers frolicking on the French Riviera beaches in the 1930s. It is also associated with movie stars of the late fifties and the sixties. Their combination of the infamous print on anything from bikinis and dresses combined with bouffant hair, cat eye-liners and pale pouts gave birth to the often re-cycled sex kitten-look. Think Bettie Page, Jayne Mansfield and Zsa Zsa Gabor – who unfortunately also wore the real fur back in the day. The queen of glam, Joan Collins have always been a fan. To quote Diana Vreeland, she’s never met a leopard-print she didn’t like.
The print has also been worn by first ladies, TV-celebrities. So popular is it among fans that former Daily Telegraph fashion director Hilary Alexander wrote a whole tribute book about it and the enduring appeal of what she calls “fashion’s most powerful print”. Leopard print is also unapologetically sexy – and after studded, black leather, it has long been the favourite material among rockstars. Debbie Harry, Keith Richards, Sid Vicious and Steven Tyler have all had a hankering for leopard prints, as well as Ellie Goulding, Harry Styles and Miley Cyrus who have helped give the print an element of irony and rebellion. Now post lockdown H&M wants to bring it back into our wardrobes once again. Are you ready to roar?