Animal prints present a fascinating fashion dichotomy. Depending on the wearer, they can morph from truly tacky to classically chic, and one of the most elegant is leopard, or le léopard in French. Associated with sex bomb pinups like Bettie Page in the 50s, it is now considered a neutral in the modern fashion lexicon.
Initially, the appeal of an animal print in the 1940s and 50s was presumably its sexy exoticism and as a primal symbol of female empowerment (and objectification). In the 60s and 70s, leopard skins and leopard prints were popular amongst the rock-and-roll set and their "free love" Hippie fans. Yet somewhere along the line, the chicest of chic women adopted leopard as an expression of sophistication with a tinge of wildness. Nowadays, it can be found at every price point and adorns everything from purses and shoes to coats and jumpsuits... always walking the fine, fine line between tragique and au courant.