Winter dressing can be quite the conundrum. Waking up to complete darkness outside and frost on the ground calls to both our inner caveman and our primeval instinct for self-preservation. Must. Build. Fire. Realistically, this means only one thing – layers. And lots of them.

But there is something distinctly un-sexy about leaving the house waddling like the Michelin man; top over strap top, jumper over shirt, doubled up scarf, gloves, quilted parker, boots over jeans over socks – not to mention some of the hats which begin to emerge.

But this year, winter wear can be chic. Channelling caveman Fred Flintstone, Alber Elbaz saw it coming with his pre-Fall collection for Lanvin back in July, announcing at the presentation: “Because maybe fashion is a zoo!” And a zoo is what has followed.

There can be no doubt that leopard print has once again secured it’s spot in the winter fashion parade. Whether you look to high street retailers or high end couture, it’s there in all forms. Pixie Geldof, Nicole Richie, Poppy Delevigne – they’re all sporting the cat print coats whether in their hipster chic shapeless form or tailored to every contour. It’s a versatile print which can add a grungy note to an evening outfit, or boldness to classic black skinny jeans and a black turtleneck. Add a flash of red lipstick and you’re practically Kate Moss. Sort of.

For those not quite brave enough to make the bold outer layer statement, leopard print accessories add just as much pizzazz to a classic outfit.  Alexa Chung’s boots are the perfect example and there are options for men too. Christopher Bailey’s collection for Burberry sees leopard print coating overcoats, Chelsea boots, belts and scarves. Zebra and tiger designs are also on the rails this season and in grey, teal, and red hues, there is an animal flavour for everyone. But the animal trend extends much further than just prints

Perfect for the Christmas party season, faux fur capes, coats and stoles have resolved all outer-wear problems. There’s no need to play down your glamour with a drab black coat, telling yourself “it’s ok because black goes with everything” and “I’ll just take it off when I get there.” Instead, maximise the glam. Lift the sequin shift dress with a soft fur bolero in pink and cream tones or make a statement with a black smooth fur stole. And the trend does not end there – the fur headbands and hats on offer mean there’s no excuse for horrible headgear. Ditch the bobble hat and fluff it up a la Sophia Loren.

Whilst warmth is undeniably the aim for winter wear, where animal trends are concerned, I cannot help but be excited by the feather embellishment on the rails this season. Whether romantic, decadent and dreamy ostrich-style designs and shimmering peacock tones, or sharp, dark and edgy embellishment, feathers will never fail you in making a sartorial statement.

Ditch the drab. Go ahead…awaken your inner animal this winter.

By Olivia Parish

Related Posts

Leave a Reply