Cat inspired fashions were huge in 2011, giving fierce cat ladies (and men) the ability to show their feline love from head to toe. From the catwalks of New York City, to the covers of international fashion magazines, cats clawed their way to the top of the fashion heap, and positioned themselves as the ultimate trendsetters.
1. Anna Sui, 2. SpiritHoods, 3. PQ, 4. Maison Michel, 5. Givenchy
Walk into virtually any store right now, and you'll fall over a furry or knit animal hat. Cat hats first emerged in February of this year at the Anna Sui Fall 2011 runway show during New York Fashion Week, where warm headed models traipsed down the catwalk in cozy feline caps. Later that month in London, designers PPQ debuted a decidedly sexier version of Sui's cutesy cat lady chic, with their sculptural headgear, suitable for any Catwoman.
In March, The New York Times did a trend piece on the proliferation of animal hats in the marketplace, focusing on faux-fur hat makers SpiritHoods. Other high end hats of note included a $2,000 cat cap by Givenchy, a lace covered topper by French hatter Maison Michel, and the Surrealist Feline Fedora by Yestadt Millinery.
The second biggest fashion story of the year was designer feline footwear by the likes of Charlotte Olympia, Christian Louboutin, and Jeffrey Campbell. Without a doubt, the most highly coveted shoe was Olympia's gorgeous velvet cat line, which featured flats, heels, and platforms in shades of black, red, and leopard print. The pricey shoes were an instant hit and showed up on the paws of celebrities such as Katy Perry, Alexa Chung, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Louboutin's "Alex" Lion Paw pumps also made a splash, with the $5,000 faux-claws turning up on the heels of Blake Lively and SJP. Meanwhile, Campbell's monstrously popular Lita platforms, which sold for under $200 bucks a pair, had the distinction of turning the outdated cat tapestry into an unexpectedly fresh fashion statement.
1. Victoria by Victoria Beckham, 2. Reinaldo Lourenço 3. See by Chloé, 4. Lanvin, 5. Givenchy
Cats prints also showed up at fashion houses such as Lanvin, Givenchy, and See by Chloé, on items such as silk pajamas, jumpers, scarves, glasses, and dresses. Japanese designer Tsumori Chisato had her own diffusion line simply titled, "Cat's," while Victoria Beckham threw in some charming kitty prints throughout her Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear collection.
The most provocative cat fashion statement of the year was Brazilian designer Reinaldo Lourenço’s barely there cat-inspired evening wear line. Elsewhere, BlackMilk made waves with their unique brand of cat print swimwear, while the ModCloth "Feline Fabulous" dress was declared (by me) as the "cat dress to end all cat dresses."
ModCloth - "Feline Fabulous" Dress
French Connection - Kitten, Kitten, Kitten - Spring Summer 2011
French Connection used a quirky kitten commercial to lure shoppers in, while Bass Shoes employed a white kitten named Marshmallow to help promote their Rachel Antonoff line. Antonoff, who is no stranger to cat fashion herself, included a seasoned feline model (shout out to @mrwendycat!) in the presentation of her Spring/Summer 2012 collection, while designers Chanel, Georges Rech, and Stylestalker also turned to cats for inspiration in their respective ad campaigns.
Chanel, Georges Rech, Stylestalker
Cats in Print
Harper's Bazaar Brazil Dec. 2011, V Magazine Spring 2011
Editorially, cats had a strong year in print, and graced the pages of magazines such as Test Magazine, Kinki, Marie Claire China, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar Brazil. One of my favorite spreads of the year was for V Magazine, which not only featured a kitty posing with cover girl Britney Spears, but also let the cat's out of the bag for their very own "Cat Power" photo shoot.
V Magazine - Cat Power