Whether it’s on or off the runway, there’s no doubt that animal print is well and truly having another moment this season, becoming so prevalent that it’s now almost a universally-accepted neutral. Garish brights revived by the likes of Tom Ford, R13 and Diane Von Furstenberg are everywhere on the high street, and the leopard print coat has once again become a must-have thanks to Victoria Beckham’s Fall 2018 belted trench coat that everyone was talking about.

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This leopard print trench coat from Victoria Beckham’s Fall Ready-to-Wear collection was inspired by super heavy Venetian upholstery fabric and fashioned from chenille jacquard. Credit: The Independent

Leopard in particular has always remained a firm favourite among the many wild prints – Topshop claim that their leopard print pieces have been bestsellers, and it’s allegedly the most searched-for animal print online right now.

Here at Rokit we have endless amounts of appreciation for the timeless print. It can enhance almost any kind of garment or accessory, it’s wearable all year round and it actually goes with everything (if you really want it to).

Award-winning fashion journalist and self-confessed leopard print “aficionado” Hilary Alexander has penned her first book all about fashion’s most perennial print, so if you have ever wanted to know the ins and outs of its history, look no further.

“I have dozens of leopard-print things in my wardrobe, as well as a leopard-print bathrobe, duvet cover, trainers, phone cover, handbags, dresses etc..” she said.

Leopard: Fashion’s Most Powerful Print examines the print’s enduring appeal in both high and low culture from the Stone Age to the digital age. Published by Laurence King Publishing and available both as an e-book and hardback, the book is mostly a visual archive that looks at the print’s historical prevalence in Hollywood, on the runway and on stage, even dating its origins back thousands of years.

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Coronation Street’s Bet Lynch and her iconic style. Credit: Daily Mail

“I was intrigued to discover Egyptian women, several thousands of years B.C., would stencil rosettes onto linen or cotton shifts. I was also fascinated to find Kublai Khan went hunting with a tame leopard riding pillion on his horse and that a Texan cavalry commander, Captain Sam J. Richardson, wore leopard skin trousers during the American Civil War,” Alexander added.

While the book explores the print’s association with high fashion and luxury, and highlights its eternally glamorous appeal, it also looks at the other side of the story – the rather ugly side of the industry including the past popularity of leopard hunting, caging leopards as pets and using them as photo shoot accessories and even movie stars.

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Katherine Hepburn with the feline star of 1938’s Bringing Up Baby

“The leopard is an amazing, beautiful, powerful animal that is endangered because of the dreadful lust to acquire its skin,” Alexander said.

With quotes from Donatella Versace, Diane von Furstenburg and Claudia Schiffer, it’s a must have for any fashion connoisseur and a valuable resource of inspiration for fashion designers and stylists.

Last night we were lucky enough to be given the chance to attend London’s Fashion & Textile Museum where Hilary Alexander was doing a talk all about the new release. We were treated to the story behind some of the book’s most iconic images, as well as anecdotes from the author about her love for the print, like the leopard print sofa Valentino had in his Chelsea home when she once paid him a visit.

If you too are mad for all things leopard print then we have an exciting opportunity for you!! We managed to blag two copies of Leopard: Fashion’s Most Powerful Print signed by the author and they’re up for grabs for two lucky winners!!! If you want to be in with a chance of getting your hands on one of them then head over to our Instagram for more info on the competition – entries close on Friday 9th November!!

 

Click the products below to shop some of our best leopard print pieces – also check out our animal print edit!