Guys, thank you and THANK YOU for all your kind comments about my new couch set yesterday-- do you know you just made my day?
|My new position on any and all leopard print, in photo montage form.|
Anyway, enough about couches-- on to today's post! Which is only semi-sorta couch related! :)
While looking through Google books for mentions of animal prints, I came across this 1959 Life magazine spread about animal inspired high fashion ensembles, and it was just too cute to resist. Having once drawn stripes in Bic pen all over my teeny face and limbs as a pre-schooler in the vain attempt to look more like a zebra (I expressed this desire to my mother at the time, who was less than impressed with her ink stained BUT CREATIVE four year old's zoological, pen-based ministrations), I was charmed at first sight by this stripe coat and red (!!adorable!!) toque hat. It icked me out a little to learn that this is a real, made from the hide of a zebra, zebra fur coat, but in less enlightened times, I guess any four legged creature with a pretty pelt was kind of fair game. At least the $1,500 price tag ($11,413.44 in 2011 dollars) probably kept more than a few buyers from pulling the trigger on it. Can you see that poor zebra in the background going "Zeke? Is that you, Zeke? Hey, don't those markings look kind of like Zeke to you?" :(
Now! Camel hair, unlike a pelt, "comes only from two hump camels, which never have to be shorn because their hair falls out naturally," consoles the text accompanying the above picture. Phew! Thank goodness. The camel in the background has nothing to fear here. I used to have a great coat very similar to this with a label that featured a large, embroidered camel, and the wavy exultation "100% CAMEL HAIR" in all caps just above him. Now I feel my conscience is less heavy for having had that coat. I almost bought an imitation camel hair coat this weekend at a Goodwill in Murfreesboro, but unlike the one shown above, many of them have no buttons and a large, tie belt for closure-- unless you're Faye Dunaway, this always looks too much like a bathrobe to me! So I let it lay.
If I saw a reasonable facsimile of any of the three dresses above and below, however, you bet your Bocephus I would have had to take it home with me. Yeeks! How chic! I particularly like the Diana Vreeland like bubble cut and smoky eye on the peacock model, widow's peakless. At first I thought it was a hat, but I'm pretty sure it's her hair! Do you see the confection of a skirt in the ostrich panel below? That skirt is entirely made of ostrich feathers! Talk about making an impression.
This coat is not actually made of bear, but of "Orlon". Which is not the name of a character in a Boris Karloff movie, but rather, a synthetic material of the late fifties'. I don't much like the buttons on this, but to each their own. That polar bear in the background is AWESOME.
One of the most modern looking ensembles is this matching coat and umbrella in giraffe print. If I saw this at the thrift store (please let me see this at the thrift store in my near future), I don't know that I would immediately spot it as vintage! The material is "waterproofed pure silk" (be still my beating heart).
Cheetah print is different than leopard print! Did you know? A cheetah has solid spots, where a leopard has kind of perforated spots. There's an adorable people-on-the-street clip from a Kenyan news channel about whether or not the average Kenyan citizen can identify a leopard from a cheetah (Kenyan news, in general, trumps our news by virtue of beautiful, beautiful accents and WEIRD, WEIRD human interest stories), and this is the principle difference! Still, I want that cheetah print jacket, in a bad way. I have a weakness for spots!! Also, is that angry little cheetah at bottom not the real star of this photo? Look at his eyes!
Last but not least, this coat is gorgeous, but I love how the panther on the left snuck up on me. I went "Where is the corresponding animal in this-- OH LORD." Good thing I wasn't there in real life, I would have jumped out of my own skin.
Fun fact: the Life photographer who covered this event, Gordon Parks, did a lot of notable work around the magazine from 1948-1968 as a staff photographer (including this famous picture), and went on to direct Shaft, Shaft's Big Score, and a number of other major motion pictures. The more you know!
Which one of these outfits do you covet the most? Do you have a particular animal print that you secretly can't get enough of? If you had to draw fashion inspiration from one animal, what would it be?
That's all for today, kids! See you tomorrow!