Animal prints have long been synonymous with kitsch, but before they were in bad taste, they were in vogue. For your musings here is, Animal Prints - A Brief History:
Once upon a time people hunted animals out of necessity. They used the meat from the animals they killed to keep themselves well fed & they used skin from the animals to keep themselves well protected from the vagaries of nature. As people have progressed in evolution, animal skins have too.
|The Flintstones source: thecartoonpictures.com|
As time went by clothing surpassed the point of functionality & entered into the fabulous world of fashion. Kings & queens & other people of high society adorned themselves in exotic furs sporting speckles & stripes. Animal prints became a symbol of wealth & status.
|King George III 1762 portrait by Allen Ramsay|
Fast forward a few millennia, & in 1962 first lady & fashion icon Jackie Kennedy departed for a solo tour of India & Pakistan, donning a stunning leopard coat, long black gloves & black pillbox hat... Needless to say the fashion natives went wild!
|Jacquelin Kennedy 1962 source: thestyleandbeautydoctor|
The demand for exotic furs skyrocketed!... & where there is the desire for decadence, there is always the cheap knockoffs lurking not too far behind. Reproductions of endangered jungle predators stormed the scene.
|leopard décor source: voodootrash|
Throughout the 1960's jungle fever raged on while another scene began to take hold.... The hippie movement & with it so came the "Save the Tiger" campaign. These righteous activists sent the international trade of exotic furs into decline. The once $30 million business may be all but extinct, but one things for sure.... Polyester pelts, be it faux leopard, tiger or zebra, are one kitsch staple that is here to stay!
|Befurred Cadillac source: Feb. 1950 LIFE magazine|