The success of Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II has sent the world wild for baby iguanas and solitary snow leopards. However, delving into the fashion archives, it seems we may have always been a bit barking mad for animals.
Fur is perhaps one of the oldest fashion trends in existence, having been used for millions of years by our hunting ancestors. Used out of necessity and practicality rather than style, fur and animal prints became a status symbol throughout the middle ages, with medieval monarchs adorning themselves and their stately homes in exotic skins and furry decorations. Attitudes towards hunting and fur have changed in the last century, but our animal obsession has hardly disappeared. First Lady Jackie O’s iconic leopard pelt coat by stylist Oleg Cassini in the 1960s cemented the enduring trend in the history books, although the ever-popular leopard print has made an appearance in every fashion decade for the last hundred years, from Joan Crawford to Audrey Hepburn, Rod Steward to Katy Perry.
These days, we’re talking less leopard print and more animal emblems. Givenchy’s 2011 Rottweiler print t-shirts by Riccardo Tisci inspired a literal animal mania for our wardrobes, and Gucci’s snake print has slithered onto bags, t-shirts and jackets alike. With embroidery making a comeback, it seems a natural step to ditch the tiger-stripes and embrace the tiger instead. With clean lines and bold iconography, these animal logo garments will make faux fur seem so last year.
Sweatshirts and Outerwear: Gucci Bomber Jackets
Trailblazing the 2016 animal trend, Gucci’s collection features everything from snakes to panthers, but this felted wool red bomber jacket is the crème-de-la-crème of Gucci’s animal offerings. With two embroidered dogs and a embroidered growling tiger on the back, this vivid silk-trimmed jacket unites the best of domesticated puppies and wild jungle beasts.
J.W Anderson Donkey Cotton Sweater
Keep it simple with this J.W Anderson cotton sweater. Easy to dress up or down, the playful embroidered donkey is a subtle nod to the animal kingdom.
Marcelo Burlon Wolf Print Hoodie
Growling fiercely over the left shoulder, Marcelo Burlon’s wolf hoodie abstracts the image of the wolf with broken lines and disjointed print, creating an interesting image that makes you look twice.
Alexander McQueen Glitch Bunny Sweatshirt
Without a hint of whimsy or a whiff of cute, this bunny sweater boldly matches teal and pink in a street-style ensemble in a way only Alexander McQueen could pull off. This rabbit may resemble the Energiser bunny, but something about the slashed-out eyes has us thinking more of Frank from the 2001 cult-classic film Donnie Darko.
Saint Laurent Lions Crest Wool Blazer
Take a more classic approach to the animal trend with Saint Laurent’s black wool blazer, featuring a regal gold-embroidered lion crest. Animals have been used for centuries in coats of arms, flags and country representation – and nothing quite expresses strength and prowess like the lion.
Kenzo Tiger Embroidered Sweater
With a cool colour palette and cartoon-style design, Kenzo’s quirky embroidered tiger sweater is perfect for a casual Sunday or post-workout ensemble.
Dolce and Gabbana Rodeo Horse Hoodie
Head to the wild, wild west with this rodeo cowboy on the back of a bucking bronco. This delicately embroidered horse motif adds an element of intrigue to this Dolce & Gabbana grey cotton hoodie.
Accessories: Givenchy Cobra Tie
It may be Givenchy’s Rottweilers that started the trend, but everyone knows that 2016 is all about the snake — from Gucci’s iconic Eden-inspired embroidery to the Kayne-Kim-Taylor Swift bust-up, jump on this bandwagon in style. Givenchy’s print silk tie uses subtle colours to balance the aggressive stance of a poised cobra — we won’t be messing with anybody wearing this.
Thom Browne Dachshund Bag
Next time you’re talking about man’s best friend, Thom Browne has the perfect companion for every fashionable gent. This Dachshund-shaped bag is kitschy in theory, but something about the carefully crafted lines and pebble-grain leather makes it a stylish classic.
Novel Butterfly Pocket Square
If the thought of spring is getting you all a-flutter, get ahead with this Novel butterfly pocket square. Using traditional Chinese double embroidery and handpainted silk, the delicate shape and colours make this a stunning accessory in every season.
Bamford Mickey Mouse Watch
Has there ever been a cartoon creature as iconic as Mickey Mouse? We challenge you to find a more famous furry friend. First appearing in the 1928 short cartoon Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse has been a favourite around the world ever since with Disney and non-Disney fans alike. This collaboration between Bamford Watch Department and Disney has produced this exquisite monochrome Rolex Milgauss watch in military titanium, featuring a quirky pop-art design of British label The Rodnik Band.
Tateossian Rooster Cufflinks
Lunar New Year is fast approaching, and this changing lunar calendar will usher in the year of the rooster. These silver-tone rhodium-plated cufflinks from Tateossian features enamelled roosters with blue, green and most importantly, lucky red hues. A quiet gesture to the animal trend and the year of the rooster, these are a must-have for 2017.
OAMC Wasp Scarf
Rising street-style brand OAMC are buzzing about the animal print trend. This cartoon wasp-print silk-twill scarf is playful and quirky, complete with a reflective quote from French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne: "I know well what I am fleeing from but not what I am in search of." If you’ve been unsure what to get the alternative hipster in your life, look no further.
Saint Laurent Belt with Snake
This brown leather belt from Yves Saint Laurent features a silver snake buckle, wrapped around the iconic YSL monogram designed by Adolphe Mouron Cassandre in 1961. The texture of the burnished silver gives a distinct, antique aesthetic to this everyday essential.
Shirts and Tees: Neil Barrett Cotton Eagle Print T-Shirt
Majestic and simple on a plain black cotton t-shirt, this eagle print from Neil Barrett is a simple way to introduce a little animal love to your everyday look.
Lardini Fox Embroidered Blue Gingham
Spice up your garden party garb with a fox-embroidered Lardini shirt. The pale blue gingham pattern has a summery feel, while the foxes add a playful touch to an otherwise sophisticated style.
Valentino Embroidered Bird T-Shirt
Inspired by Japanese drawings, the contrasting swirling white and blue waves on this black Valentino cotton t-shirt are perfectly matched to the swooping stork on the right shoulder. Pair with jeans for a stylish day look.
Paul Smith Leopard Print Shirt
No, we’re not talking actual leopard print here. Against a purple backdrop, gorgeously sketched leopards prowl the body and sleeves of this Paul Smith slim-fit shirt. This is ideal for the office or an evening out when worn with a smart blazer or suit.
Maison Kitsune Flying Fox Print T-Shirt
If all these animal items are a bit on the bright side, it might be time to get back to black. Using rubber to highlight the flying fox pattern on this Maison Kitsune t-shirt, this piece will keep you on trend without messing up a monotone wardrobe.
Balenciaga Snake Print T-Shirt
Green and aggressive, this simple white Balenciaga t-shirt gets an exciting overhaul with the cartoon sketched snake print. A leather jacket is the essential stying companion for this bold, edgy item.
Dries Van Noten Peacock T-Shirt
The blend of navy, green and purple colours in this Dries Van Noten t-shirt provides an interesting colour palette for the silhouette peacock embroidery across the chest — the detail in the tail feathers adds a luxurious quality to a simple t-shirt.
This article first appeared on hk.asiatatler.com