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Can A Leopard Change Its Spots?

    Roberto Cavalli, Spring 2007
    Photo Credit: Firstview

    I was at a little party last night and happened to have one of my new pieces with me to show my friend. The dress just happens to have silk charmeuse lining – leopard print. More on the dress in a couple of days, but in the meantime, I thought I would share a funny, little story.

    my leopard lined dress

    One of the girls at the shin-ding (and I can’t mention any names here), said, “Oh, we did an interview with Roberto Cavalli and he apparently told the writer that he invented leopard print.” We all chuckled at the idea of “inventing” something that has existed for centuries, not to mention a leopard is an actual animal so I don’t think anyone can really be credited with the invention of leopard print.

    Norman Norell leopard bodice dress, 1949
    Photo Credit: from the book "Couture" by Caroline Rennolds Milbank

    Dolce & Gabbana leopard print dress, 2009
    (left to right: Scarlett Johansson, Whitney Housten, Madonna)

    “I need more of an ego,” I commented after we all decided it took a very egocentric individual to credit themselves with something so grand. “I am convinced I would be a more successful designer if I were just a delusional, self-absorbed diva, who felt that the world revolved around me,” I said.

    Versace, 1991-1992
    Photo Credit: Irving Penn for the book VERSACE for F.I.T. 1992-93

    Now, I don’t have a problem with Cavalli, in fact, I like a lot of his work. I think some of it borders on the excessive, or tacky, but it all comes down to personal taste. He is a unique visionary, I’ll give him that. But, let’s be real; leopard print, pattern, skin, whatever, has been around for ages. Deal with it Roberto.