Survival of the Fittest: The Evolution of Leopard Print

Leopard print has come a long way from its primal past. The pattern that once stood for luxury and sex appeal is now considered to be “the new black.” Let’s take a look back at how this bold pattern has continued to change its spots on the fashion front over the years.

All About Leopard Print

1947
Christian Dior incorporates leopard print fabric into his spring collection, even though he believes the look isn’t for everyone. “If you are fair and sweet, don’t wear it,” he states in The Little Dictionary of Fashion.

1950s
Bettie Page, the “Queen of Pinups,” poses in a leopard print one-piece (that she made herself) for shutterbug Bunny Yeager. The iconic snapshot becomes one of Page’s most celebrated pictorials.

1954
Marilyn Monroe wears a leopard print scarf on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio. The accessory instantly becomes associated with Monroe’s alluring nature and taste for luxury.

1970s
The free-spirited counterculture of the 60s and 70s embraces leopard print, seeing it as a way to express its wild side and inability to be tamed by society (or conventional dress).

Today
The bold pattern can be spotted on everything from scarves to shoes, and is actually often considered a neutral by many of today’s top designers.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

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December 31, 2013