‘Do you think this is too much animal print going on?’ I asked as I turned to Kent with a cheetah pattern scarf wrapped around my face. I thought upping the animal stakes with a double print approach would get a laugh from Kent. Instead of hearing ‘that’s too much animal print happening’, he said ‘you look just like the Queen.’ ‘The who?’ ‘The Q-U-E-E-N!’ ‘You know what? It is classic styling, Jackie Kennedy used to wear a headscarf like this, so too did Audrey Hepburn.’ ‘So you might as well call it “the Jackie” or “the Audrey”!’ But Kent decided on ‘the Queen’…
There is nothing quite like animal print. It speaks to the wild and exotic, the animal kingdom. It was perhaps the first clothing of cavemen long ago. At the same time, the more exotic the beast, its rarity comes to indicate status; posh or regal, just picture Kings and Queens wearing their trophy furs and ermine robes.
There is such a fascinating historical mix of wardrobe accoutrement highs and aristocrat signalling from animal print and fur, no wonder it’s long been a darling of the fashion world. Let’s just admit that it will be forever chic! Thank goodness, these days you don’t have to go in for the kill! We can preserve nature’s wildlife and still enjoy our inner caveman with all kinds of PETA friendly animals’ textiles and faux furs, and they are affordable; some are so well made that they are often mistaken for the real thing.
Now, about this look.. Before our Uluru adventure I often wondered what I would put together to create a safari, outback-style wardrobe. The fact is that I’m not a big fan of khaki, so the square pocketed khaki shirts with khaki pants, in other words the drab green common as safari fashion does not excite me. Therefore the moment I spotted this long shirt dress in leopard fabric, I knew that my search for a perfect adventure clothing was over. Its exotic print capturing the animal’s fierceness yet the cut is sophisticated, with masculine hints; great as urban office camouflage or for the outback. Yes I adored it at once and thought, I’m taking that with me to the Red Centre of Australia.
Well since Kent and I were both on the same page with ‘the Queen’, we just needed a location to accommodate our story…
At our resort in the Northern Territory, my classic African style safari had been replaced by wild rabbit spotting and bird watching. No elephant no giraffe and no lions here, this is Australia after all. While I still label this as ‘my safari ensemble’, bird watching seems to have been my daily activity. Well it’s effortlessly easy when the desert starts literary over the room’s balcony railing! A perfectly convenient spot to enjoy watching nature, and a fantastic photoshoot location right here! Besides the native birds, the distinct richness of colours from our stunning landscape is the real visual feast.
What do they say regarding wearing animal print? ‘Keep it minimal’, ‘stick with one animal print at a time’.. I even read someone suggesting that ‘women over 40 should only wear animal print accessories’… Pfft! Sure when animal print is styled poorly, it can be very unforgiving. It can also be rewarding when you know you just broke all the rules above and you actually look.. fierce!
So, wear the outfit don’t let the outfit wear you! Stay fierce, own it; there’s big game out there, go for it.
Outfit Of The Day
Beijing Silk Market scarf
Karen Millen sunglasses
Karen Millen long sleeve shirt dress
Midas ankle boots