I've had this photo (above) since the day I got my laptop. I saw it, saved it and thought that one day, I'd be that guy in the strange club (definitely with a different pants on). There's an energy in the photo that is very intriguing and very rock and roll. I was particularly drawn to the leopard print oxfords the person in the photo is wearing. The setting added appeal to the shoes. It sort of saying a heist gone bad, or a gig without a crowd, or perhaps, a strip club and that guy is about to take off his pants (as suggested by the singles scattered on the floor). I hope it was just the shoes I want. I don't know where to get it but i was hoping to get lucky and find a pair in some thrift shop somewhere. I have an ongoing relationship with leopard prints. It's not my signature, but my love for it is palpable. My friends would bring me leopard print stuff whenever they would fly abroad. I also remember back in the days, when the only shoe I can afford are Chuck Taylors. I used to have that high-cut Chucks in leopard (below) which I wore everyday and eveywhere with anything (with Chucks, being, the only shoes you need to go through early adulthood).
Until, wear and tear took it's toll.
Now that I pretty much survived the stage, a new stage requires a new costume de guerre. This time, in leather.
That search for the adult leopard print shoes threw me back a little. Are the adult male of our society ready for such feet, er ,fete?
The stigma associated with leopard prints doesn't stop at D&G alone. Think big blond coiffeurs and red lipstick, big black drag queens in figure hugging dresses (yes, I'm referring to Noxeema Jackson, thank you), and the list goes on and it can go much louder than that. Leopard print, in footwear, was once exclusive to ladies. On the early part of the 21st century, at least. Any man who is not the artist formerly known as Prince and wears leopard definitely roars "Queen".
Apparently, times have changed, my beloved. The puss may have been in boots, but the new discerning men wears the puss instead of boots! Proof of that are the photos below. Wearing leopard print is like wearing a potent perfume, you can not have too much.
via 00o00 and mymanybags
Indeed, the fierce feline print has transcended gender and permeated inside the discerning men's wardrobe. Leave it to master shoemaker Christian Louboutin, a man famous for his fiery red sole(s), as he himself branched out from his exclusive stilettos to cater to the kings of pavement jungles. In 2009, "Loubs" gave a whole new meaning in men's footwear. Though, admittedly, I still smirk when i say that out loud. You can't really blame me. The visual suggestion given by"leopard print," "studs," "leather," and "shoes," really do sound kinky. More so with lubes...er, Loubs. Perhaps, the association is inevitable. He IS the man who sold shoes like sex.
|Christian Louboutin Chukka boot style / 2009|
|Christian Louboutins / Fall Winter 2010 Rollerball in leopard haircalf leather and gold studs|
|Christian Louboutin Rantus Orlato / Fall Winter 2011|
It's not only Louboutin who has caught up with the cat-o-philia. Givenchy has recently paraded on its fall/winter catwalk a larger version of the print in oxford, topped with what seemed like an applique. The print didn't just come as an accent to a wardrobe. It was the central theme of his collection and pushing it even further by pairing leopard with leopard.
Leopard print is not just a print. Its a realization of all the fantasies that are associated with it. Be it on stage as a rockstar or on bed as a sexy panther, wearing leopard print subliminally mimics the behavior of the animal itself- an oppurtunistic hunter, strong predator ( the only big cat known to carry its prey up into a tree) , notorious ability for stealth, and the ability to mate all year round. It is perhaps for the same reason why the early warriors would skin leopards and wear their fur as if they were the animal. In present times, it would be uncomfortable to wear leopard heads as mask, so be it studded or with applique, leather or rubber soled, the most important thing here is that we don't need to skin a whole cat to wear it.
How about you, are you ready to add a dash of leopard print in your wardrobe?