Monday, January 17, 2011

Abecedary of Kitsch ~ A

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:

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


  1. Great post - love the images too

  2. What a fab car!!! And thank you for the little lesson on furs! xxx