Tiger Mom or Cougar Town?

Yes, one could wonder while seeing this pic. Don’t worry, I was just standing in the rain, watching my kids playing tennis, like every afternoon. Rain or shine…

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But while the majority of “soccer moms ” will support their kids is sweat pants, leave it to the french to wear something a little more glam’. Here I chose a Zara Classic day dress in leopard print which will give me the opportunity to tell you a little more about leopard in fashion.

Cavemen use to wear leopard furs to protect them from the cold but also to gain strength and courage from the animal spirit. In 2565 AD, the Egyptian princess Néfertiabet was buried in an asymmetrical leopard sheath, a symbol of power and hommage to Bastet , protective goddess  of mothers and children but also to Sekhmet, goddess of destructives forces. These two feline divinities evoked  both woman creative and destructive powers.

In 1925, the american actress Marian Nixon creates a buzz while trotting down Hollywood Boulevard with a leopard on leash, living version of her fur coat.

ImageIn the U.S, leopard print was the staples of starlets and always had a tacky version. The first Grand Couturier to use leaper print not only fir and turn it into a beacon of elegance was Monsieur Christian Dior with the launch of his Couture house in 1947. Yes, leopard prints were part of the new look and it was  an instant hit within the clients. Below here is the “Afrique” evening dress and her little sister “Jungle” afternoon dress from the SS1947 collection both of which I would gladly wear today.

Christain-Dior-Leopard-print-dress-1947Dior 1947

This August 29th 1953 leopard print bustier gown covered sequins is an absolute beauty

620078-29-aout-1953-robe-de-soiree-imprime-637x0-3and we can admire its modern version in John Galliano for Christian Dior 2008 Haute Couture Collection

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Though the leopard print has been despised by the bourgeoisie who found it vulgar and offensive, it continued to go strong decade after decade and survived any fashion trend imposing itself as a wardrobe staple.

Catherine Deneuve, Yves Saint Laurent absolute muse and perfect image of ice cold femininity, adopted leopard prints through out her life. Here in the 70’s wearing a leopard print trench coat, the mere essence of the “Rive Gauche”, both independent and teasing to be tamed by the right man.

images-1French-fashion-designer-Yves-Saint-Laurent-and-beautiful-actress-Catherine-Deneuve-4 Actress Deneuve kisses designer Yves Saint Laurent during the first France Fashion "Oscar" Gala in Parisimages

And is still able to teach Kate Moss some major fashion lesson throughout the lens of Patrick Demarchelier.image5

 

 

During his Fall Winter 1997-98 Couture Collection, Jean-Paul Gaultier sent down the catwalk a satin and leopard fur bustier gown which sent the PETA association through the roof. They were really close to throwing a pot of paint at the insulting garment. Thank got they didn’t.

defile-jean-paul-gaultier-automne-hiver-1997-1998_4064178 Alaïa, Dolce Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli , all three brands known for their voluptuous and sensual vision of women make a prodigal use of the famous print. Dolce and Gabbana being famous for lining their clothe with it.

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From accessories to make up, perfumes and even kids collections, the leopard print is everywhere.

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But do not forget that the first one to use it for a perfume ad was again Monsieur Christian Dior in 1949 for his  Miss Dior perfume illustration by Gruau in 1949, still so modern and feminine . And this powerful animal still leads the way for empowered yet feminine and seductive women all over the world. the only downside, you can never go cheap with leopard unless you have style and you know it.

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