The really wild fashion show

It's a jungle out there with leopard, zebras and snakes fabulously on the prowl from day to night. Fashion editor Stephanie Smith explains how to do animal print.

Leopard print sweater, £10 at Primark.
Leopard print sweater, £10 at Primark.

There’s nothing like a leopard print faux fur coat to bring out the animal.

For the coming autumn/winter, animal print is not only back, it really is bigger and better than ever. There are more varieties and sizes of pattern, more colours, more fabrics, more finishes, more embellishments and so many more ways to wear... well, let’s just say, it’s going to be a jungle out there.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

First, colour. Bright, spicy yellow, bold red, rich teal and emerald, vibrant sapphire – these are some of the shades you can expect to see featured as backdrops to leopard and zebra print. Coats, leggings, dresses, blouses, jumpsuits and knits are all available to cater for our animal instincts across the season, providing a range of sartorial style options from weekend off-duty to full-on roaring evening glamour.

Leopard print jersey wrap dress, £70, at

The variety of fabric and style of the new season’s animal print designs is impressive, covering diaphanous and floaty blouses through to chunky sweaters and dense fur coats. Victoria Beckham gave us a spotted coat in lightweight chenille jacquard, based on a vintage Venetian upholstery fabric. Tom Ford paraded lush red leopard crop skinny trousers paired with same colour and pattern leopard jacket with voluminous long fur sleeves; a tight-fitting grey snake trouser suit, and a lime green leopard print trouser suit. Animal magic gone mad, perhaps, but surely the last word in playful sophistication.

On the High Street, there’s plenty room for bright colour animal print options, but it’s the unexpected wearings and pairings of the stuff that are winning the style stakes paws down. A black and white zebra print wrap dress is perfectly acceptable for daywear, perhaps accessorised with black for a pulled-together look, and then styled up for evening with an injection of bright pink or metallics.

Take a wild leopard print cropped sweater and throw it on over your your jeans, but then pair with a swishy metallic midi skirt or sequin pencil skirt for a night prowling the town. Wear a silky all-in-one in an animal print with a pair of ankle boots and a clutch – that’s your office-to-party look sorted. Try demure midi dresses in wild leopard or zebra print, or take a chiffon snake print blouse and team with a pair of sleek, cropped, tailored trousers for effortless chic. As animal print suits all ages, shapes, skins tones and styles, what’s not to love?


Zebra print jumpsuit, £45, at Dorothy Perkins.

September 13 – Doncaster Ladies Day –

September 15 - 16: Saltaire Vintage Home & Fashion Fair, part of Saltaire Festival finale weekend, Victoria Hall, Saltaire, 9.30am - 4pm. With 40+ stalls of vintage for you and your home. See

September 15: Phase Eight stores customer events: 20 per cent off full price, prosecco on arrival, treats and rewards, personal stylists. See

■ September 16: The UK Great Lengths Hair Awards ceremony, Royal Armouries in Leeds – an evening of celebration for the finalists and crowned winners, and Great Lengths wider family of salons and stylists across the UK.

Red leopard print midi dress, £65, due this month at Oliver Bonas.

September 28: Autumn Fashion Show at The Garden Rooms at Tennants, Leyburn. Drinks and canapes, shopping in the Fashion Village. See

October 4: Fashion Fiesta: Charity catwalk show at Salem Chapel on Hunslet Lane in Leeds. See

October 6 - 7: October Seaside Vintage Fair (Whitby Pavilion), see

October 13: Meiji Designs Silk Scarf workshop at Millers Yard, Gillygate, York. 10am-4pm, £120, 

Zebra midi dress, £30; pink crombie coat, £69. Both at Dorothy Perkins.
Animal print two-tone sandal, coming soon to New Look.
Animal print fairisle sweater, £80; sequin skirt, £90. Both at Monsoon.