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Leopard Print: Tacky or Classy?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months, you will have realised one trend that is dominating the fashion industry: leopard print. This animal print has become a widespread trend from high fashion to high street. Everywhere you look now, there is at least one person wearing a leopard print item of clothing. From culottes to t-shirts, whether you’re 21 or 51, leopard is everywhere. But like many other trends, is it becoming tacky or is it just the revival of a classic look?  

Back in spring of earlier this year, we saw animal prints dominate New York Fashion Week for Autumn/Winter season. From Victoria Beckham to Carolina Herrera, Tom Ford, Area and many others, designers had animal or leopard print as a running theme through their collection. Skip forward to September 2018, you can’t enter a high street store without seeing at least one leopard print item. While many may argue that leopard print is a tacky print that will soon fade out like many other fashion trends in the past such as heeled trainers, low rise jeans or chokers, leopard print is classic that has been around for decades.  

Leopard print first premiered back in 1925 with American actress Marian Nixon. It soon became a symbol of glamour and sophistication in Hollywood and was later worn by icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. As someone who is completely and utterly obsessed with the leopard print trend, I would have to say it is a classic. Leopard print is just another fashion classic that has stood the test of time – like a little black dress or a camel coat.  

The print has evolved from its first appearance in the early 1920s. There is no limit to what item of clothing can be leopard print. Whether it’s a classic faux fur coat, a camisole, a square neck dress or even a denim leopard co-ord, there are endless options. If you’re a die-hard fan like me, this gives you the creativity to style and match leopard with different items of clothing for any occasion.  

There is no denying that like other current trends, it can be overdone and possibly tacky, but that often comes down to how you style leopard print. As I am currently the proud owner of six leopard clothing items (seven if you include the earrings!), you have to experiment with it. Yes, black or white are two staple colours that compliment the print, but why not add a splash of colour with a bit of hot pink or red? These are two colours that beautifully compliment leopard without looking tacky.  

While there are some that may always argue that leopard is tacky, the truth is that it’s a classic look that has stood the test of time – a classic look that has been elevated for the modern-day fashionista. So, whether you are heading on a night out or to a simple brunch, leopard print is classic look for any time and any occasion.  

My name is Niamh Dunne. I am a 20 year old student in DCU studying Media Studies and Politics. I have a huge passion for writing and fashion. I hope to become a political correspondent for either TV or radio once I have graduated college! x
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