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Your Stylist: Fall's Animal Instinct

July 4, 2011 |  8:00 am

Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column.

If you thought leopard print was a passing fad relegated to last fall, or just something the Kardashians wear a lot of to attract even more attention, think again. The spotty print is here to stay and it's turning up for fall and pre-fall collections and even at cosmetics counters.

ThStilletto 1280-0271 camel leoparde animal print craze is most likely an extension of the wild kingdom-esque trend that was seen on so many designers' fall runways. The luxe version, however, included lots of fur trims, fur coats and fur bags. The leopard, snake and cheetah prints seen everywhere from denim to dresses are a little more tame than the way the animal trend turned out on the runways, but still manage to carry out the same idea with plenty of texture and exotic inspiration.

Denim label Current/Elliott has printed its stiletto skinny jean with a beige and black cheetah motif ($198 Ron Herman on Melrose Avenue) that's a bit washed out and faded, so it doesn't read like a pair of tight pants that only the lead singer of an 80s hair metal band could love.

They would look great with a heather gray T-shirt for the  earlier and warmer fall Gap80months and just as chic with a black cashmere crew neck sweater and a pair of black ballet flats for fall and winter. The skinny silhouette and cheetah print are reminiscent of an early-60s Edie Sedgwick. 

Gap 1969 denim is also working animal prints heavily into their fall offering with skinny and straight leg
jeans emblazoned with subtle leopard and snake prints ($80 at Gap - available in August). These jeans are great for anyone who wants to dabble in the trend, without having to invest too much. These pants are well-priced and understated enough that the animal print isn't immediately noticeable, but rather adds an unexpected twist to typical skinny jeans.

Dior Perhaps the most surprising items to carry out the animal trend, are the leopard print makeup palettes like the powder from Dior's Mitzah collection  (available in August at Sephora) and Dolce and Gabbana's Animalier bronzer Dolce ($50 at Saks Fifth Avenue). They both look so perfect and delicately spotted, one might not want to ruin the effect by actually using them.

Animal prints will be popping up on all sorts of accessories as well, and the leopard spotted ankle booties from Tod's ($945 at Tod's boutiques, available in August) are a sleek and chic approach to the trend. These will look great with slim black trousers or cropped leggings or even act as a nice alternative to black pumps or flats when worn with a simple black shift dress. Like the Current/Elliott cheetah print jeans, these ankle booties have a 1960's Mod feel to them. 05-A

Don't be afraid of the wild animal trend for fall, it might come across as aggressive or overdone if piled on in multiples, but with more tame pieces like the ones coming out for fall, you can mix it into your wardrobe as subtly printed denim worn with classics or dainty palettes stowed away in your makeup bag.

-- Melissa Magsaysay


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Photos (From top) Current/Elliott cheetah print stiletto jeans. Credit: Current/Elliott. Gap 1969 snake skin print jeans. Credit: Gap.  Dior powder palette. Credit: Dior. Dolce and Gabbana Animalier bronzer palette. Credit: Dolce and Gabbana.  Tod's boot in leopard print pony hair. Credit: Tod's.