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Leopard print bikinis are classic and timeless, recalling the ferocity of a wild leopard moving majestically through the jungle. Ideal for bikinis and swimwear of all kinds, either as a primary pattern or as an accent, leopard print stands out from the crowd!

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Leopard Print - Description

Leopard Print Collection

Leopard print bikinis are classic and timeless, recalling the ferocity of a wild leopard moving majestically through the jungle. Ideal for bikinis and swimwear of all kinds, either as a primary pattern or as an accent, leopard print stands out from the crowd!

Today's Leopard print patterns often deviate from the true pattern and range from the classic brown and yellow of the wild leopard, to shades of hot pink, green or even purple.

The highly graphic skins of untamed animals evolved as a sort of camouflage in order that they could blend in with their surroundings, yet they need been coopted by humans over the last two centuries as how of standing out. Animal prints evoke an exotic other that has become more mythical than real. Skins and drawing brought back to Europe by explorers symbolized an unknowable unknown—their stories of those animals stoking fear and curiosity. While all animal prints supported wild animals are encoded with this exoticism and mystique, it's the large cats who bring back their prints a component of danger—the great thing about the herbivore zebra and giraffe is eclipsed by the predatory sleekness of the leopard and cheetah. As a burlesque historian, Jo Weldon writes, "The desire to decorate sort of a dangerous animal features a specific intention thereto that simply dressing sort of a pretty animal doesn't convey… The print expresses the facility they feel within or makes them feel armored against the facility they'll lack.

Azzedine Alaïa shaped knit leopard print into every possible garment for his fall/winter 1991 collection. Photographed by Jean Baptiste Mondino for Vogue Paris, November 1991.

"Leopard print" has become a catch-all term for all cat prints, which upon closer examination might instead be, most frequently , a jaguar, ocelot, or cheetah, or more rarely, a clouded leopard, ounce , bobcat or Black Panther . Leopards are most ordinarily found in Africa, Asia and therefore the Middle East , and broken black rosettes on a cream-to-golden ground mark their coat. These skins made their first recorded appearance as a neighborhood of a dress on the goddesses of Ancient Egypt and Greece. the problem in killing a leopard (without being harmed oneself) lent them a rarity that kept their skins reserved for royalty and warriors. Even once international trade developed, they retained this designation—leopard skin muffs were supposedly a special craze amongst the French and British aristocracy in 1702.

While rare and exotic furs had been the topic of fascination for millennia, the primary mention of cloth woven or embroidered to seem like leopard skin was within the late eighteenth century with the macaroni's, young dandies known for his or her over-the-top fashions. Their adoption of the "effeminate" leopard print (since all cats were related to the kitchen and women), while ridiculed, began to influence the style news and by 1804, the trend had spread: "Large silk shawls of a replacement fabric in imitation of Leopard spots, are much worn for the opera and play.

After rupture of fashion for much of the nineteenth-century, real leopard skins reappeared within the 1910s—considered strictly for outdoor wear, it had been primarily used as trim on coats and hats. A full-length evening wrap all of leopard-skin was described by Vogue in 1911 as a "picturesque motoring wrap," while the front cover of the October 15, 1914 issue featured an illustration by E.M.A. Steinmetz of an extended black jacket with leopard collar and cuffs worn over a full black skirt with leopard hem–a bulbous leopard fur muff completed the outfit. it had been not just the primary skins that captivated fashionable women—printed and woven leopard patterns prowled back to the news for the first time in over 100 years. The famous couturier Lucile showed a night gown of bronze and gold metal brocade with leopard print velvet girdle in her fall 1913 collection, as a part of a trend for using the plushness of velvet to mimic the feel and appearance of animal fur. By 1924 leopard spots were appearing on all types of luxury fabrics—a nod to the exoticism so beloved during that period. While Josephine Baker walked her pet cheetah around Paris, Gabrielle Chanel began using Bianchini-Ferier silks printed with leopard spots for dresses and coat linings (so successful were these prints that the orders were three times what the textile maker could supply).

Leopard skin trimmed coats were a trendy trend for several decades, from the 1910s to the 1940s. Illustration by E.M.A. Steinmetz for Vogue, October 15, 1914; RIGHT: Leopard print at its most ladylike during a chiffon dress by Nettie Rosenstein. Photographed by Irving Penn for Vogue, June 1957.

Nineteen-thirties femme fatales (on-screen and in real life) often wore a coat trimmed with leopard cuffs and collar with matching hat and muff. Whether real or faux, the design became a defining one for the age , which was recreated within the early 1970s by the retro-flavored Biba in London. within the mid-1930s cottons and "flannelettes" printed with leopard spots brought the pattern to the mass-market during a sort of unnatural shades. Paying homage to his muse Mitzah Bricard—who famously wore something leopard print a day Dior included in his history-changing first collection in 1947 a figure-hugging sheath of leopard print silk with a good belt, called "Jungle." He later went on to feature the print in many collections and famously said of it, "If you're fair and sweet, don't wear it." For him and lots of others, leopard print was for mature, powerful and sexually experienced women—those who intimately understood the danger and seductiveness of their own sexual power. Cinematic stars like Rita Hayworth and Monroe were clad in leopard print to denote their bombshell natures, while Joan Crawford's Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard wore leopard print during a desperate plan to recapture the glamorous success of her youth.

The sensual nature of the print made it the perfect pattern for the foremost intimate clothing of the day. Pinups of the 1940s posed in skintight, leopard skin bathing suits, while in 1953 venerable lingerie company life style came out with their first line of printed bras, underwear and slips—all in leopard print. While many, more traditional women thought the pattern too attention-grabbing for daily wear, it had been good for an intimate secret: "The leopard print was made to feel exclusive, something a lady chose for herself, and to ascertain her in it had been a special privilege accorded only to her lovers…Naturally it had been a sensation." By 1960 it had been such a beloved fashion fabric that other animal prints were discussed within the press as "the new leopard print": "a silk dress python-printed during a shade between coral and brick, fashion-destined for as many lives because the leopard print that began within the 'Thirties." Leopard prints evolution from raciness to respectability was enhanced when Jackie Kennedy wore a coat made from real leopard skins in 1961, designed for her by Oleg Cassini and produced by furrier Ben Reig—it was such a stylistic success that almost 250,000 leopards were killed for his or her skins within the next few years, resulting in the species Act of 1969.

Christian Dior's first collection premiered on Lincoln's Birthday th , 1947, and included this very un-"New Look" leopard print sheath called "Jungle." RIGHT: Jacqueline Kennedy during a very costly and quite controversial coat made from real leopard skins in 1961.

With real leopard skins illegal, leopard print within the 1970s began to become thought of as trashy and in bad taste. Though Diane von Furstenberg produced her iconic wrap-dress within the pattern, during that decade it had been more commonly related to drag queens like Divine, glam rock stars like Marc Bolan, and punks like Debbie Harry. Leopard prints reemergence into haute couture began within the 1980s with designers like Patrick Kelly and Moschino, who used it on whimsical designs that played with its tacky reputation, yet it had been within the 1990s that leopard print really became the glamour pattern de jour. Azzedine Alaïa produced his signature sexy knits in leopard print for his now legendary fall/winter 1991 collection, which "were not only transcendent, but transformative, adding a replacement and feral sense of "animal magnetism" to his body-con silhouettes." that very same season Dolce & Gabbana also first used leopard print, in what would become one among the house's trademarks—harking back to the movie stars of the 1950s, they produced voluminous fake furs coats shown over retro-style girdles. Since then they need used leopard print on every possible fabric, for each possible garment—from chiffon evening dresses to three-piece suits to bras and tights. Versace combined leopard print with gold scrollwork in 1992 to bring the pattern to the peak of glitz and glamour. Robert Cavalli has also made leopard print a key a part of his design aesthetic and has been quoted as saying, "I copied the dress of an animal because i really like to repeat God. i feel God is that the most fantastic designer.

Kate Moss modeling a sheer leopard print dress with an identical leopard print coat in Dolce & Gabbana's spring/summer 1997 collection; RIGHT: Jean Paul Gaultier recreated a leopard pelt using thousands of beads for his fall 1997 couture collection. It took 1060 hours to form .

Leopard prints ability to morph and shift to suit many various visions of womanhood (from royalty to vamp to pin-up to middle-class wife to trailer trash to supermodel) helps it retain its consistent place on catwalks round the world. It reappears in collections referencing diverse historic epochs, locations or popular culture moments, always able to camouflage itself into the designer's vision of fashion. rather than using it as a pattern, Alessandro Michele at Gucci has printed and knit actual leopards onto t-shirts and sweaters. Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga has used leopard print faux fur in layered parkas, while Tom Ford sent out models in skintight, cerise sequin leopard print suits. All of them are drawing on the energy lent to the print by the first animal—dangerous, seductive, and playful—while alluding to the sweetness , innocence and savagery of nature. With such complex symbolism it's no surprise fashion designers and mass-market merchandisers who want to feature a frisson of pleasure to their collections continually revisit cat prints.