Editors may have declared animal print trend back IN during last year’s F/W fashion week, but that begs the question: did animal print every really go out?
Texam would rather say not.
As a matter of fact, animals prints have been trending for as long as there have been animals to admire. From the very beginning of civilization, their coats have been a source of fascination for humans; equally dangerous, elusive and beautiful. It hints at an untamed ferocity beast left undisclosed. So how did animal print go from primal origins to its luxe contemporary design connotations? Texam Wall Masters explored how animal print’s desirability has transformed from a survival kind to an aesthetic one, focusing on how interior designers have handled it into one of the bravest prints ever.
Our current relationship with animal prints was set in the early 20’s, when as technology and travel advanced, so did an awareness for fashion trends and influenced style.
The Art Nouveau movement especially boosted animal print’s allure in the early 20’s, celebrating natural forms and figures. Most notably for animal print, it popularized stylized renderings of animals and animal-inspired motifs. The Art Deco movement which followed kept on celebrating animal motifs while elevating them to a richer level in draperies and screens. It was also during this time that designers like Aldo Tura began to blend animal hides into their work.
Then came the introduction into the interior design world, with designers embracing animal print as a starring fabric. Elsie de Wolfe - widely considered one of the first interior designers - regularly used animal print in her projects. To make mass fashion manufacturing possible, animal prints were printed on textiles. Interior designers quickly grabbed these fabrics for their own projects, using them to cover up chairs and fashion draperies. As consumer confidence grew, designers began making bolder statements with animal print, like Madeleine Castaing who carpeted her country home in wall to wall leopard carpet.
Fifty years later its explosion as both a cultural and design icon, animal print has confirmed unwavering staying power. Throughout seasons, fashion designers send animal patterns parading down their runways, while interior designers such as Martyn Lawrence-Bullard and Miles Redd turned them into bold home statements, swearing loyalty to the chameleonic powers of animal print. With its endless array of options, it would be hardly impossible to find a designer who hasn’t appointed animal print a beige-grade neutral.
Our obsession - Texam’s staff included - with animal print is nothing if not fierceness. With the power to bias wild and edgy or refined and regal, animal print has more transformative power than any other pattern. If we were to guess it out, designers will never tire of it.