Fashion is all about the details, and a statement shoe can truly make or break an outfit. Starting with accessories is a near foolproof way of easing yourself into a difficult-to-master trend.
Enter the leopard print shoe, your new best friend. Any trend that sees L’Uomo Vogue editor Giovanna Battaglia accessory repeating is a trend worth embracing.
We saw leopard lingerie on our favourite 1940s pin up girls. We saw head to toe leopard embossed couture filter through to the everyman after its’ appearance on Christian Dior’s 1950s muse, Mitzah Bricard. We saw animal print on constant fash-pack rotation through the Bohemian movement of the 1960s, and we saw the seediness of late 1970s punk rock infiltrate the mainstream on the leopard print clad models of Helmut Newton’s iconic photography. The noughties have given the print a revival of sorts; a fresh take on what had become an arguably dated trend.
Even for the most competent of fashionistas, excelling in the art of animal print can be an arduous task, as leopard print has a reputation for walking the line between tacky and tony. The leopard print shoe, however, has the power to lift a simple outfit into the fashion stratosphere, and eradicates the risk of becoming a “trend taken too far” fashion victim.
Unless you decide on wearing these Sergio Rossi numbers.
The June 2011 release of the now cult Alaia leopard sandals paved the way for a modern twist on leopard print day wear. Fashion’s elite has put a new spin on the animal print shoe by teaming it with infallible neutrals. The printed shoe provides a point of difference when teamed with simple, tailored garments in interesting, luxe textures. Wearing a statement shoe in conjunction with neutral, structured apparel guarantees even the most cautious fashion followers can rest assured their outfit bypasses the “tacky” leopard print stigma.
Print blocking, 2012’s answer to colour blocking, sees the leopard print shoe thrown into the mix with everything from floral jeans to polka dot bubble-hem skirts. An animal print stiletto paired with a tailored floral pant assures a clean, elegant line while remaining bang-on trend.
Getting overly ambitious with clashing animal prints can result in a Cruella Deville/Fran Fine-esque mess, so keep your animal print restricted to one garment.
Unless you’re Olivia Palermo. In which case, do whatever you want.
Images courtesy of The Sartorialist, Stockholm Streetstyle, Jak & Jil, Style.com, The Fashion Guitar and We The People