Notable Animal Print Moments in History

Posted by Jill Chivers in Fashion, Style and Shopping

As anyone who has encountered me for 10 seconds or longer, I have a thing for animal prints – it’s my signature style, the grounding component of my daily look and I feel it gives me more than a dash of style every single day.

Love it or loathe it, animal print is a fashion and style staple.  Sometimes we see more or less of it around, but it never really goes “out”.   I think of it as a neutral.

Animal print is that unusual combination of wild, exciting and alluring… as well as natural, earthy and instinctive.

It’s the savannah and the street. It’s the exotic and the everyday. It’s the glamorous and the grounded.

What can I say? It’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle… sitting on the kitchen table.

Two Leopards Playing in the Exeter Change Menagerie c.1808 by Jacques-Lagant Agassi

Two Leopards Playing in the Exeter Change Menagerie c.1808 by Jacques-Lagant Agassi

So given my fascination and love of animal print, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and look at notable animal print moments from the 1940s through to the 1990s.   I’ve had a lot of fun researching this two-part post (which is great, because it took quite a few hours!).

It’s worth noting that up until the 1970s, it wasn’t animal print that was being worn, but mostly animal skins.

Sadly, our collective appreciation for the preciousness of these animals and the skin they live in wasn’t at the levels they are now, and too many of these exotic and endangered creatures were sacrificed in the name of fashion.  Now it’s faux all the way and glory be for that.

Not very cheery, I know, but I felt it needed to be noted.

So let’s kick off this two-part series on notable animal print moments!

1940s

 

Bettie Page - 'queen of curves'

Bettie Page – ‘queen of curves’

 

 

Barbara Stanwyck and Bette Davis - leading ladies

Barbara Stanwyck and Bette Davis – leading ladies

 

1950s

 

Mitzah Bricard - the muse (for Christian Dior)

Mitzah Bricard – the muse (for Christian Dior)

 

Elizabeth Taylor - timeless beauty

Elizabeth Taylor – timeless beauty

 

 

Marilyn Monroe - the siren

Marilyn Monroe – the siren

1960s

 

Jackie Kennedy - the first lady

Jackie Kennedy – the first lady

 

 

Miriam Makeba - the exiled chanteur

Miriam Makeba – the exiled chanteur

 

Anne Bancroft - the seductress

Anne Bancroft – the seductress

 

And tune in to the second in this series, where we look at notable animal print moments from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.  Click here to check it out!

 

 

 

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    One Response to “Notable Animal Print Moments in History”

    1. Vildy says:

      Animal print used to be so “grown up”. Did you know there was only 6 years difference between Dustin Hoffman and Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft)?

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