Monday, 11 April 2011

What goes around comes around (again) (and again)

When I think that there’s a gap of (shudder) over 30 years between these two photos it’s a bit weird.  Actually it scares the shit out of me so I won’t think about it too much.  But what I wanted to say was how funny it is that some styles just keep coming round, or never really go away.  Leopard print for a start.  Well, in a way that’s not strictly true – at the time of wearing this pair of punk trousers the animal pattern seemed rather tacky and outdated to the masses, and conjured up visions of Bet Lynch and bordello banquettes (bonkettes?)  However, I think it was something about its perceived vulgarity in late '70s Britain that made it wonderfully anti-fashion, along with things like those (revolting, in my opinion) PVC jelly sandals and (less revolting, more revolt-into-style) brightly coloured plastic shades, so it was perfect for making a statement.  The irony, of course, being that anti-fashion soon becomes fashion and it all gets a bit confusing and contradictory then…but I’m not going get hung up about that.  I just adored these trousers at the time because they made me feel awlriiight

And now I’ve got the coat. Not influenced by any specific fashion trends - although it seems that animal print is very in again right now – but simply because I fancied it, it suits my eclectic taste and it was a few years old already (plus only £12 off ebay…)  It just makes me feel awlriiight too, even though I’m now (shudder again) older than Bet Lynch was when I first got my leopard trousers and it scares the shit out of me to think that too.

Anyway…all this set me off… why is it that leopard spot has been such an enduring design for textiles across so many decades over other animal patterns?  Ok, you get to see zebra and tiger stripes from time to time (especially in rock’n’roll and punk clothing again for some reason) but leopard rules.  It’s pretty, yes, but then so many things in nature are. Why don’t you see dalmation dog spot jackets, or wasp stripe shoes? Hoverfly handbags or ladybird berets?  Furry caterpillar scarves?   I mean merely the design, not made out of furry caterpillar skin obviously - that would just be silly, not to mention itchy… 

Is it too late for me to become a textile/fashion designer? I'm sure I could come up with a nice line in mock toad-skin sandals…hmm, the ‘faux natterjack slingback’ does have a certain ring to it…

But, oh god, why am I now thinking about such weird trivia?  Because it’s better than thinking too much about the passage of time, I guess…  No more shuddering.


  1. I'm jealous, I wish I could look the same girth in a thirty year time span!!

  2. Thanks AOM, but don't be jealous, I fear that I am shrinking as I get older and that is not necessarily a good thing!


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