The Best Way to Stand Out This Fall is to Blend In… Fashionably

You don’t have to stand out to make a statement.  In fact, the biggest statement of the season may be blending in… naturally.  Since fashion has been created, the patterns of nature have found their ways down the runways in literally countless iterations.  From Dior’s hand embroidered florals to Perry Ellis’ Giraffe print men’s shorts to the myriad of camouflage that has become so pervasive of late, the patterns of nature have proven near constant inspiration to the design rooms of fashion.

Fashion writer & vintage fashion impresario Vivian Kelly (@thefashionhistorian) confirms that animal prints & camouflage have long been an obsession of designers:

“Who can forget iconic scenes like a leopard clad Mrs. Robinson in ‘The Graduate’ or Jayne Mansfield in the 1950s in one of her signature leopard print bikinis, or Jackie Kennedy in 1962 on her way to India & Pakistan wearing an Oleg Cassini Ocelot coat?  Animal prints have been a part of our design vernacular since fashion began. In fact, there are paintings of leopard dresses in the Egyptian tombs,” says Vivian Kelly. “Today, with modern technology, the look can be achieved in a sustainable manner with injections of color & finishings to create pumped up versions of nature’s wonders. Nature inspired prints are here to stay… a new neutral of sorts.”

The trend is alive & well in fashion for the coming Fall season.

Fabric artist Rory Worby of Rory Worby Studio counts her Washed Leopard silk scarf as a best seller.  Her hand-painted pieces are made one-by-one, so no two will ever be the same pattern, just like the animal itself.

Washed 100% silk charmeuse, $350.00 at

Thalé Blanc by Deborah Sawaf embraces the trend on a variety of pieces including her best-selling Chicago Coat from last year that she reinterpreted in Camo with Yellow hem panel this year.

100% Cotton Denim, $1,500.00 at

Here, the Thalé Blanc signature Audrey Bag inspired by a trip to Ms. Hepburn’s family home in Italy, is shown in a Hot Pink Embossed Crossbody Micro Bag with Python Printed pattern.

Made in Italy, leather with adjustable strap to wear on shoulder or cross-body, $695.00

Looking for a texture rather than a print?  This is one of the most covetable bags of the season – a Silver Metallic Hair Calf racer-back bag with “maracon” handle that can be worn on or off the back, by Thalé Blanc.  As designer Deborah Sawaf puts it, “this is the perfect mix of city sleek & fashion chic.”

Made in Italy, leather, $1,495.00 at

Men are not left out of this trend either.  Here, the Rye Camo Belt by Arizona based designer Remo Tulliani.  Remo hand makes every belt on order with the finest leathers & hardware all sourced from Italy.  Order a size or two larger than your pant size as Remo sizes his belts by the measurement, not the size of the wearer (For example:  if you wear a 34 pant, order a 36 or 38 belt).

Made In USA of Italian calfskin with nubuck liner & Italian oiled brass buckle, width 35mm, $90.00 at

Accessories designer Sheila Gray goes wild with her Feathered Fan Cowrie Shell necklace, shown here with Orange accents.  Sheila is the official accessories designer for the iconic house of Byron Lars who chooses pieces from the Sheila Gray Collection for all of his runway & lookbook looks.

Black Feathers with Cowrie Shells and leather necklace strap closure with Orange accent beads and Knotted looped leather closure, $70.00 at

It seems tomorrow’s designers are just as obsessed with the trend as their working predecessors!  On the runways of NYFW during the Albright College fashion show last month, alumni designers Josh Polk showed a swimsuit in an Orange Giraffe pattern & Jess D’Alessio chose a tropical leaf pattern for her resort looks that will leave the wearer blending fashionably into any scene the season brings.

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