Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Leopards have always worn leopard print. It was nature before it was culture. Fact!
An internet image search for ‘Leopard Print’ reveals a variety of patterns, however the leopard may be the most recognisable spotted cat. Their beauty along with their power, adaptability and ferociousness set a standard well worth emulating and everyone from the most prestigious of designers in the world to the most affordable chain stores, acknowledge the prints unique value and universal appeal.
Believe it or not, humans have a primal identification with the Leopard and our reaction to the print is subliminal. As apex predators, Leopards are at the top of the animal food chain. The human pupil dilates at the sight of a predator, a primal physical response that’s similar for both fear and arousal.
Our appreciation of the print goes back to our relationship with the animal: We admire it and fear it, we find it irresistible yet we know it's dangerous – all traits inherent in the print and, by association, to the woman who wears it.
Whilst the distinctive markings on big cats evolved as camouflage to help them blend into their surroundings when hunting for prey, through the alchemy of fashion, humans wear animal print to be noticed! To appear seductive, luxurious, dangerous and playful and to feel beautiful, strong, powerful and sexy. The desire to dress like a dangerous animal has a specific intention to it that dressing pretty simply doesn't convey.
The twenty-first-century woman in leopard print is the culmination of thousands of years of history, international trade and cultural exchange.
And yet, what leopard print conveys in Western fashion is highly mutable, especially when it comes to signifying class.
From royalty to punk-rockers, boudoirs to sophistication, trash to high fashion, the world’s most controversial print has evolved through history and continues to take on a diverse appeal depending on it's association.
No matter how you choose to categorise leopard print, one thing is for certain, you have to have courage to wear it and a women in leopard is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Just like the subliminal inherent traits associated with wearing leopard print, a killer pair of heels has equal effect.
As the age old saying goes, ‘give a girl the right pair of shoes and she will conquer the world’, theres no denying when they are covered in spots, her fierce confidence is amplified to be equally admired and feared.
We are in a new era of fashion, there are no rules. It's all about individual and personal style, mixing high-end with low-end, classic styles with modern pieces.
Leopard print no longer represents the stigma of one class or another, but worn as a sign of female empowerment, independence, confidence, sexuality, femininity and nonconformity (of the very best kind).
In an era, when women are being pulled in different directions, and are trying to define what it means to be a strong woman, the pattern feels relevant.
Fashions craving for leopard print continues and it's clearly not disappearing anytime soon. It continues to defy trends and crazes, deftly sitting perfectly in your forever wardrobe like a faithful friend. It's natural palette of go-with-anything, allows it to fit seamlessly into any wardrobe, match any outfit and make a very fine statement in the process.
People speak of it with delight or disgust, love it or hate it, you simply cannot ignore it and there is absolutely no denying the universal appeal of the world's most controversial print. Leopard print makes a statement and demands an audience, it says ‘I want to be seen’.
It is all at once, trashy and sophisticated, loud and neutral, fierce and feminine. Yet in all its contradictions, one fact remains constant: a leopard never changes its spots – and our love for them will be eternal.
Love Bella x
Bella Leopardo, empowering woman from the ground up one fierce step at a time.
Check out the new collection release here
(credit Jo Weldon - The History of Leopard Print)
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