There is not a time when the natural world wasn’t featured on the runways in some sort: snakeskin handbags, mink fur and leopard print dresses all had their moment in the spotlight and are always quite a popular choice on the streets of fashion capitals around the world. But now, as the fashion world is becoming more understanding and kind to the environment, the animal inspiration moved to fashionable accessories, and renowned creators like Maison Boucheron (Place Vendome 26) transformed it into an art.
Some of the most spectacular pieces crafted by the house along the years were part of their Collection of Animals and displayed impressively sculpted precious metals covered in countless high quality diamonds and intensely-colored gemstones. Zarafah – the charming giraffe ring – is an exquisite example of that craft: a ring in yellow gold, with her natural pattern cleverly reproduced in white and brown diamonds, blue and orange sapphires to highlight her features and a large ruby placed in her protection. The more you look at it, the more fascinated you become with the striking detailing.
While the rings are extravagant eye-catching creations, there are a few things you can comfortably wear every day at the office. Elegant and refined yet understated, the hedgehog pendant is a delicate work of art in pink gold, subtle black diamonds and round rubies. Hans, as the hedgehog is called, has rosy spikes (that don’t sting) which create wonderful reflections when it’s basking in light.
But Boucheron aren’t the only jewelers with a tradition in creations inspired from the animal world; Bvlgari’s serpent is just as famous as Boucheron’s. This season, onyx and mother of pearl adorn the head of the snakes while their blue body turns into an elegant bracelet.
Complete an animal-themed outfit with Roberto Cavalli’s firefly earrings with rhinestones in earthy tones. For a more colorful and exotic apparition, the fanged necklace is a must have, with crystal and rhinestone detailing in tropical tones; a subtle but strong piece. For a true show-stopping statement piece, Valentino brought to the runway an impressive chain necklace with a sizable golden bull. Not one to go unnoticed for sure and you need the attitude to match.
What else is out there? Well, Emilio Pucci blended some pop inspiration with a fiesta of colors and giant belts with stylized metal eagles to achieve a powerful effect. Tom Ford couldn’t be outdone so his models had feathered shoulder bags in black and white gradient. You can almost imagine that a dress made of plumage is next.
Since we’re talking bags, Louis Vuitton’s black leather owl bag is a worthy mention as it’s an impressive work of craft but still wearable. And last but not least, who can forget Fendi’s Buggies? Those furry, colorful and a tiny bit scary bag bugs/handbag accessories might not be PETA’s favorites since they’re made of fox and mink fur, but the ladies do seem to love The Funny and The Playful or any of the other tiny characters.
As always, designers give us plenty to choose from when it comes to ingenious ideas, and the animal world is one that never runs out on inspiration so diamond-covered swan rings and animal-print handbags will keep on coming with the start of every runway show and fashion week for years to come. Luckily, most of the creations are adorable and any animal-lover would be delighted to own them. Have a furry winter and a feathered spring!