(Pic courtesy Babychakra and Festivelle)
Much before animal print was a trend, I was wearing this leopard print Zara shirt and this silk python print blouse everywhere, so much so that I am now completely done with the trend, right when the world is taking it up and how.
These are pics from 2018 and 2016. And now, leopard and snake is everywhere you look, in the stores, on the fashion instagrammers, on the catwalks.
What is the trend you’ve been bucking much before the world caught on?
Hello. I’m a 43 year old freelance graphic designer, living in Bangalore, with my husband and my six year old daughter. After I birthed her, I developed Peripheral Neuropathy, which is a progressive chronic condition where the nerves in my body degenerate, starting from my toes, feet, fingers, hands and inwards.
So my fashion choices are largely informed by my health. I wear lots of long dresses in bright colours and prints, many of them from Zara to hide support shoes most of the time, and I accessorize with chic hats and sunglasses to match the gloves and walking stick that I have to use, to protect my hyper-sensitive skin. I have leopard print gloves, leather gloves with little bows, and many other designs that I have a lot of fun sourcing and collecting.
I also have to wear socks 24/7, so I think long and hard about buying awesomely cool socks, from Hong Kong based websites like Shein, and Lulu and Sky, among others.
The same with shoes. I need to wear soft flats that causes the least amount of pain to my damaged feet. I love Clarks. I was recently thrilled to be able to wear a really pretty floral shoe I found tucked away in Westside!
Fashion cheers me through my painful condition and keeps me positive and feeling youthful as I age.
One of my easiest go to looks is incorporating animal print into a solid palette. Here is what I turn to very often, my all time favourite, in fact at any given point I have at least three to four leopard print elements in my wardrobe
I can wear head to toe leopard print, I love it so, never mind the shocked folk who might keel over and pass on in shock if I do ever dare to emerge in public dressed so. This is a love that has existed down the decades and is not one that I have discovered right now when leopard print seems to be all the rage across the fashion centres of the world, specially in street style. The high fashion catwalks are a land one does not visit.
Here’s one of my favourite no thought, get dressed and go versions when I want to make an impact and don’t have the bandwidth to think long and hard about what I should wear. A soft suede cropped black jacket, black fitted trousers, (yes, black is slimming and an instant upper of your game, head to toe black even better!) a Zara body fit leopard print camisole, or a black camisole, jazzed up by high Lulu & Sky leopard print block heels with safety pin details. Only one element of animal print in the entire look when worn, never two, it just gets too overwhelming. If I feel like it, a delicate neck piece, or nothing at all in terms of accessories, except a bold red lip, and some judiciously applied highlighter if the skin is channeling morgue chic. The leopard print is fierce enough.
Winter in Mumbai might be non existent, but some days you just feel like play pretend it is chilly enough to bring out your woollies. For me, the go to look is always a chunky knit oversized pullover in cream worn over deep indigo skinny fits. Pair this with a taupe Da Milano structured bag, a leopard print scarf, huge sunglasses and tan suede boots, and I’m good to go.