Animal print lingerie was an inescapable trend in 2010 and it’s roaring back into spring collections again this year. Problem is, in a world with a sadly diminishing number of species, what can you do with animal prints that’s new?
If you’re Victoria’s Secret, you ignore the limitations of animal print design and create your own menagerie.
The lingerie retailer just released its latest Little Book of Sexy, a theme-oriented lookbook that showcases five spring style trends — two of which are based on animal prints.
If you look deeper into the full Victoria’s Secret catalogue, you can’t help but notice that VS has gone a bit bush-crazy this season. There are hundreds of animal-print pieces in the collection — from bras to swimsuits to shapewear to dresses — in an almost limitless assortment of prints.
But you won’t have to worry about PETA protesters or big-game hunters taking shots at you in these styles. With names like sexy zebra, bright cheetah, animal hearts (yes, heart-shaped leopard print!) and neon watermelon tiger, this ersatz animal kingdom bears little resemblance to anything found in nature.
The VS design team takes an anything-goes approach to animal print: overlaying colors, distorting and morphing patterns, and juxtaposing prints from different creatures in a garish mashup that wouldn’t look out of place on the Island of Dr. Moreau.
Some pieces from the VS menagerie are dependably charming (we love the snow leopard pajamas!) and the company has showcased its best pieces in the Little Book of Sexy, which is shown in the gallery of images at the bottom of this post.
But let’s be honest: a lot of the VS animal collection is just hideous, as loud and grating as the cacophony of a jungle at night. The image set above shows a few of the worst offenses-against-nature in the collection: florals mixed with scraps of jungle prints, sequined leopard spots, a multi-color bejeweled creature, and a what-were-they-thinking reptile print swimsuit that you DON’T want to wear in the waters off Montauk. The bra top dress in the second row is a print called, believe it or not, natural animal.
The real pitfall in designing animal-print fashion is that the print can be so distracting that it overwhelms everything else: the style, the cut, the fabric, even the person wearing it. People see nothing but the print and, if they look too long, may literally start seeing spots.
Victoria’s Secret ignores that danger and serves up a version of nature for the ADD crowd. Our advice: if you truly love animal prints, use your fashion budget this spring to check out the snow leopards at the Central Park Zoo.