Loving Leopard – a Timeless Trend

| Jul 23, 2018
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From Pharaohs to Beyonce, the Leopard print is indeed a timeless trend. “In all its forms — sophisticated, luxe, rebellious, sexy — (the) leopard print makes a statement. It can’t be ignored, whether you like it or loathe it. That’s why it’s still so prominent in mainstream culture and in fashion throughout the ages.

Egyptian painting of girl in leopard print

An Egyptian stele shows Nefertiabet, an ancient Egyptian princess wearing a leopard gown. Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

Beyonce in leopard print

Beyonce, wearing a leopard dress, performs for ABC Good Morning in Times Square, New York in 2006. Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

“At a time when women are being pulled in different directions, and are trying to define and affirm what it means to be a strong woman, the pattern feels relevant. It says ‘I want to be seen’.”

girl in leopard print

In a black and white photo from the 1950s, singer and actress Eartha Kitt is seen dressed in head-to-toe leopard print. She looks defiant and self-assured, while, next to her, a cheetah sits nonchalantly on a leash.

It is an iconic photo. It is also one of the images that, three decades ago, inspired burlesque dancer Jo Weldon to start researching the story and legacy of leopard print. Her findings have been brought together in a new book, ” Fierce: The History of Leopard Print,” in which Weldon charts the origins, evolution and changing status of one of fashion’s most ubiquitous patterns.

Leopard motifs — and feline imagery in general — have been used to signify power, independence and confidence for centuries, according to Weldon. “Leopards have long been seen as fierce, very resilient animals.” she said. “I think people feel a primordial connection with them

girl in leopard print mermaid gown

Jo Weldon wears a leopard dress for a promotional shoot in 2015. Credit: Bettina May

Yet, the motif has also been embraced by the upper echelons of fashion. Christian Dior is credited as the first designer to put leopard print — rather than fur — on the runway in 1947. Style icons like Josephine Baker, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and Edie Sedgwick all wore the pattern.

Taylor and Kennedy in leopard print coats

Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy in leopard print coats

In recent decades, Beyoncé has publicly sported leopard print, as have Anna Wintour and Michelle Obama. And, season after season, fashion magazines hail “the return of leopard” on designer catwalks, from Balmain to Armani, Cavalli to Givenchy. However the hottest icons of fashion are European royalty and specifically, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and Queen Letizia of Spain. The ladies wear fashion that sells. See for youself.

European royalty Kate Middleton and Queen Letizia in leopard outfits

L – Kate Middleton R – Queen Letizia

Leopard print has swayed in so many different directions because it’s open to interpretations,” Weldon said. “It can be seen as a ‘neutral,’ that looks great next to bolder colors, but it can also perfectly stand out on its own. Our appreciation of it also goes back to our relationship with the animal: We admire it and fear it, we find it irresistible yet we know it’s dangerous. Felines evoke nocturnal activities and playfulness. All of that goes into the print and, by association, to the woman who wears it.”
The reality is that Leopard prints are also very sexy, from lingerie to skirts and dresses and in accessories. It is a winning look. So let’s take a look at some of the possibilities in all these categories. It makes me want to go shopping right now. Most of the real life photos are of crossdressers or trans women.

Leopard Lingerie

Leopard panty and bra set
Leopard slips and bra

Leopard Dresses and Skirts

Leopard dresses
Leopard skirts and dresses
crossdressers in leopard prints

Leopard Accessories

leopard shoe
leopard scarf and purse
Lastly, I have a few leopard pieces in my wardrobe, none which I’ve worn yet. Trying to find the right blouse to go with the skirts. The jacket dress was purchased through Ebay and is on its way

Tasi's leopard prints

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Category: Style, Transgender Fashion, Transgender Opinion


About the Author ()

Tasi is transgendered, married, and a lifelong crossdresser. She’s the founder of the Ladies of the Blue Ridge transgender group in Roanoke VA, a prolific writer, commentator and blogger including fashion articles for Tri-Ess, TG Reporter, Repartee, and Pretty T-Girls magazine. Tasi currently resides in Merida, (Yucatan) Mexico. Her new website, Sister House and her blog, the Fashionable TG Woman are dedicated to fashion and style for the transgendered woman. Please visit her. Tasi’s new book, "Top Ten Fashion Mistakes By Crossdressers and How To Fix Them" is available on Amazon or on her site free to subscribers.

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