Jungle Love

by Dorothea

The Lasting Power (and Danger) of Leopard Print

Leopard print is a dangerous thing, there is a thin line between fabulous and vulgar…My glamorous New York friend Marilyn always says: “the real test of love is when your man accepts some leopard in his life…”

VogueCover Vogue November 1939 Cover by Carl “Eric” Erickson

Leopard is a great pattern both for interior design (see “Create the look for Less” below) or fashion.

The Hermes scarf “Jungle Love” is the epithome of Leopard Love & Passion, this design has been produced by Hermes in all kinds of versions and colors and has staying power.

Jungle Love2Hermes scarf “Jungle Love” designed by Robert Dallet

Leopard as well as cheetah fur has been highly coveted from antiquity onwards. Cheetah fur has small, solid black spots and a “tear line”, leopard spots are grouped in small rings (rosettes). More about cheetahs in a later post.

In France the great silk weavers enthusiastically embraced “leopard” patterns from as early as the 18th century, when it became the fashion, especially for men:

LeopardDaring pants in this 18th century fashion plate!

This is what the great French decorator Jacques Garcia does with leopard: he is a fan of all themes “fauve” (wild cats) in his opulent interiors, but always used just right…

garciaInterior designed by Jacques Garcia

And to stay in the theme: there is the 1963 film by Luchino Visconti: “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopard) based on the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. A story about Sicily in the late 19th century with a stellar cast of Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and the stunning young Claudia Cardinale.

leopardmovieAlain Delon and Claudia Cardinale in the film “The Leopard” by Luchino Visonti


LeopardPrintAntique Leopard Print

I always wondered where the expression “A leopard cannot change its spots” comes from: it is from the Bible, Jeremiah 13:23 (King James Version):

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.”

It means that things cannot change their innate nature. I wonder if we have to change that notion today…

“Create the look for less” in your home:

PotteryBarnPillows & Throw at Pottery Barn

zaratableclothTablecloth for your “safari” dinner at Zara Home