Animal Print Fashion Is Making Waves Again And Adding A Unique Touch To Our Wardrobes

Animal Print Fashion Is Making Waves Again And Adding A Unique Touch To Our Wardrobes

Charge up the admirable quality of an animal inside you that has an uncanny resemblance to your personality

Pramita BoseUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 09:47 AM IST
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Charge up the admirable quality of an animal inside you that has an uncanny resemblance to your personality. A wild cat, swift leopard, a carefree bird, slithering snake, beautiful peacock, an attractive butterfly, a leaping frog, an agile fish, a towering giraffe, an aristocratic horse, slender deer, striking zebra, royal tiger or a majestic lion, whichever creature you choose from the world of fauna, direct its unique features into your wardrobe collection.

Dual Duty

From furry, velvety coats of the canine family, woolly fleece of sheep and goats to stripes, spots and slippery sliminess of aquatic life, animal prints are not only surprising onlookers on the ramp but are also forming an integral part of impressive interior décor nowadays. Wall tiles/paper, floor designs, staircases, furnishings like carpets, cushion covers, bed sheets, curtains, upholstery, etc. — the list is endless. “Animal motifs add several layers, depth and a lot of character while aligning with eco-friendly trends and rendering an avant garde expression,” ratifies Pinky Roy, lead designer of her team at The Indian Garage Co. (TIGC), a leading fast-fashion menswear brand.

In the world of fashion, architecture and arty home decor, animal prints are undoubtedly in the spotlight. “From soft and silky-smooth furs, cosy cottony skins, downy feathers to wild patterns — prints like these have time and again leaped from the runway into our homes. They fetch a sliver of fascinating nature indoors. In children's apparel, these prints spark imagination and curiosity, fostering love and zest for the wildlife. They emboss the tiles, furnishings and fabrics, creating a playful ambience, unbridled joy and a hint of pure adventure,” informs Ankita Dwivedi, founder of LQ Milano, a high-end luxe kidswear brand.

According to designer Reema Anand, “animal motifs have a universal approach symbolising strength that people may find empowering!” Sanya Khatri, designer and founder of Foxy Indian, a homegrown fashion label, finds the “penetration of animal motifs in everyday living spaces outlandish”.

Colour Shower

The infusion of fauna-inspired prints and patterns introduces a slew of earthy hues into one's wardrobe. Neutral tones like beige, taupe and cream dole out multipurpose base shades that effortlessly complement the vibrant patterns, providing a well-poised canvas.

Warm browns lending richness, radiant reds adding a fiery vibrancy, organic lush greens bringing in serenity and vitality to the colour spectrum, golden yellows offering sunlit brightness, subtle grays integrating the quality of camouflage often seen in animal prints, dark blacks accentuating the patterns with intensity and a dramatic contrast, dusky blues spelling out a sense of calmness and a different dimension to the palette of the soil, natural whites looking pristine and providing a sharp disparity between light and bold shades, creating a harmonious visual interplay that grabs attention and finally, pleasant oranges flaunting a level of comfort to the entire colour scheme. So mixing and matching of dyes is paramount here.

“In our enchanting collection of kids' outfits, a burst of earthy pigments is indeed gaining prominence in their wardrobes. Our aim is to bring nature's palette to life. For instance, our 'Wild Adventure', 'Safari Dreams', 'Jungle Jamba' and 'Ocean Explorers' lines feature prints like fertile green leaves invoking the opulent colours of the wilderness, brilliant oranges reminiscent of tigers and deep blues mirroring the sky,” notes Dwivedi.

Khatri admits that animal prints are transcending boundaries to set their class apart. “They unleash an extravagant shade card to spruce up the garments. Earthy tones like resplendent browns, tawny yellows and ebony blacks are prevalent in these patterns, enhancing the quality of get up and the image of the wearer,” she submits.

Outfits Celebrating Organisms

Animal prints have the remarkable capability to elevate a wide range of outfits, spanning from dresses and tops to skirts, pants, outerwear and even jumpsuits. Additionally, they effortlessly integrate with accessories like scarves, handbags and shoes, amplifying the overall pictorial impact of the ensemble. “One must highlight the animal prints as the centerpiece, keeping the rest of the outfit relatively simple. By doing so, the pattern becomes the focal point of attraction,” advises Roy. “To show more confidence, consider blending animal prints with neutral tints. This synergy offers a magical equilibrium, ensuring the prints to linger in the forefront without overwhelming the overall designer composition in an ensemble,” she concedes again.

Animal prints can add fun quotient and a playful, rollicking facet to kids' outfits. For a bouncy, spirited and age-appropriate look, leopard or zebra patterns on tops, leggings and accessories can work wonders. Subtle accents like animal-print shoes or headbands can augment the charm. “Remember, moderation is the key. One animal-patterned piece per outfit keeps it chic. Mixing with solid colors puts the limelight on the print,” utters Dwivedi.

Anand affirms that “almost anything can look good in animal prints. From long dresses to flowy pants, short dresses with low necklines to kaftans — the animal mosaic is flexible enough to complement any given silhouette”. Khatri picks “leopard-print dresses to parade that much-desirable pizzazz”, while zebra-print skirts she thinks “can deliver a hip edge plus snakeskin accessories provide a dash of lavishness”.

Fabulous Fabrics

Animal prints can be showcased beautifully on various fabrics, the most suitable ones being silk for luxury, chiffon for an ethereal touch, velvet for richness, cotton for casual wear, jersey for stretchy comfort, leather for edginess, satin for sheen, linen for a natural look, wool for warmth and mesh for a dynamic effect. The bottom line is to find fabrics based on the intended style and occasion.

Selecting the right fabrics is crucial. Natural materials like cotton and bamboo gel well. Such fabrics are breezy, breathable, easy to carry and durable for the smartie smallies. They also provide a flowing surface for the patterns to pulsate with life so that the same looks frisky and exciting. The commitment to authenticity must ensure the quality of the fibre to be gentle on the frolicsome little ones’ sensitive skins and exhibit the effervescence of animal prints.

While Anand opts for chiffons and satin to do the job, Khatri believes that “animal prints ideally gleam on fabrics that mimic the texture of a real animal skin. Silk, chiffon and satin heighten the grace, while faux fur and leather encapsulate the tactile essence of these prints”.

Building on Biodiversity

Other than creating a wow appeal in glamour and fashion arena, can animal prints spread awareness of biodiversity on this planet and grow sensitivity towards it? Fashion designers agree in unison that this is quite possible. “Animal prints in fashion can absolutely raise awareness of biodiversity and make people more responsible towards the planet's ecosystems. They serve as symbolic representations, promote ethical fashion and can be part of educational campaigns, collaborations and donation initiatives to leave a positive impact on environmental conservation,” espouses Roy.

Animal prints hold tremendous potential beyond conveying mere fashion statements. Harnessing their visual appeal can ignite general consciousness about our planet's sustainability and stimulate conversations among kids and parents alike. “Each print tells the story of a unique animal, piquing curiosity about our diverse ecosystem. Tiny tots in animal-printed clothing can become the apt advocates of nature. Kids are usually fond of animal icons. Cute kittens, sweet pups, bunny rabbits, lion cubs, adorable teddy bears and other animal figures find a special corner in their closets. This subtle yet impactful approach may encourage discussions about our endangered species, habitats and the significance of safeguarding natural resources for our posterity. As designers, we have the moral compass to execute our ethical duties beyond just selling clothes,” campaigns Dwivedi.

If you start nurturing compassion, empathy and care for the natural world from a young age, then nothing like it. This, in turn, may beget a generation that not only brags about style but also champions the cause of preservation of the earth's precious biodiversity.

Moving over fashion's eye-dazzling glitz, animal prints can dish out an opportunity to act as green crusaders. “By wearing the said motifs, individuals can silently communicate the message of protection of wildlife and environmental stewardship,” underlines Khatri.

Does Size Matter?

Well, even a plus-size body can perfectly fit the bill for animal prints. The patterns are flattering to all body shapes and grant a visual angle. “To rock this particular print, remember the tips to choose the right scale, stick to structured and tailored pieces and also experiment with quaint accessories,” said Roy.

Anand supports the fact that animal patterns can look fantastic on bulky frames. “It is imperative to adhere to the right silhouette as fashion is all about feeling comfortable in your own skin,” she fathoms. Khatri seconds the opinion saying that “animal prints are not limited by any body type and motivate all wearers to gloat over their unique beauty as well as articulate their personal style”.

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