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FREE ASSOCIATION ANIMALS And FASHION Submitted By Anjini V Dugal MBX172036152 Ma Contemporary Fashion Buying December 6, 2017

1. Introduction



2. Annalysis 3 3 2.1 Fabrics 2.2 Silhouettes 2.3 Prints, Accessories & Embellishments 2.4 Street Style 2.5 Other Products 3. Conclusion


4. Bibliography


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The correlation between animals and fashion can be traced back to the beginning of mankind. While back then humans wrapped animal skins to their bodies to keep them warm (Arshi, 2017), apparel from animals sadly transitioned from being functional to being fashionable over the years (Gee, 2012). Having said that, today's consumers have become more conscious and aware of what they are wearing and are slowly rejecting the idea of wearing the fur or skin of animals resulting in the rise of more and more animal cruelty - free brands (Mazzio, 2014). This has led to the fashion industry being influenced by the animal Kingdome in new, more creative and sustainable ways. The paper analysis the same unconventional influences of animals in the fashion world.




2.1 Fabrics

Although silkworms can be credited for teaching humans how to spin silk as early as 3500 BC, it was only in 18th century France that spider silk was introduced. However, the tradition slowly died out until entrepreneur Nicholas Godley and textile expert Simon Peers revived it in 20by creating a silk cape made from the silk of 1.2 million Golden Orb spiders. Super strong yet lightweight spider silk is also being used to produce bulletproof clothing (Scanlon, 2014).

Many materials such as Crab shells and Rhino horns have an inbuilt ability to self-heal/ repair (Scanlon, 2014). This phenomenon of self-healing has long inspired new ideas and mechanisms for designing and creating self-healing fabrics (Singh, et al., 2011) that can create clothing that can repair itself if damaged. A prototype for such self-healing materials has been developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) using modified E.coli bacteria. (Scanlon, 2014).

Golden Orb spider silk cape From crab shells to self-healing clothes

Camouflage clothing from squid & Bioluminescence

Dye-free fabrics from butterflies

Morpho butterflies one of the largest in the world (Poke, 2015) are famously known for the optical illusion created by their wings that despite lacking color pigment appear cobalt blue (Scanlon, 2014). This phenomenon inspired Australian designer Donna Sgro who in 2010, created a dress made from Morphotex – a fabric that imitates the microscopic structure of the wing using nanotechnology (Scanlon, 2014). The Dress Mimics the Butterflies Wing by Shimmering —Without Any Dyes. Manufactured by Teijin in Japan, Morphotex requires no dyes or pigments, and also saves on water and energy used in conventional dyeing (Chua, 2010).

Squid, octopuses and other cephalopods by expanding or contracting their pigment-filled cells are known for their ability to change the color and texture of their skin. Inspired by this characteristic scientists are developing self camouflaging clothing which would be extremely helpful and useful for the army. Bioluminescence(ability to produce light) is another feature of deep - ocean creatures that could be explored for fashion (Scanlon, 2014).


Fast-as-a-shark swimsuit Water drag being the major hurdle for movement, aquatic animals are gifted with nature’s versatile design and surface features to move swiftly in water at the cost of low energy expenditure. Inspired by shark's sandpaper like skin which helps reduce drag by 5-10% (Singh, et al., 2011) Speedo launched its Fastskin line of performance-enhancing swimwear. Worn by world renounced swimmers like Michael Phelps and Rebecca Aldington in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as swimmers from over 130 countries during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Speedo's LZR Racer earned the title of "the world's fastest swimsuit" (Scanlon, 2014).


2.2 Silhouettes Hummingbirds Animal inspired fashion from Camille Cortet

Designer Kristian Aadnevik selected by Donatella Versace to take part in the Vogue Italia talent hunt showcased some uniquely original designs at the recent fashion week, all of which seemed to be inspired by Hummingbirds (sherman, 2008).


Amsterdam based French designer Camille Coret draws inspiration from nature more specifically the idea of transformation and tries to find the parallelisms between animals and humans. The inspiration and interpretation of the same can be seen in her Snake & molting legwear as well as Bird & Seduction accessory collections. Her legwear collection takes a cue from the process of aging skin, how snakes shed their skin when it becomes too old & rigid. Similarly, her tights made of a laser cut textile become a second skin and evolve with the wearer’s movements’ and ages and breaks like a skin after several uses. The accessory collection, on the other hand, is a collection of collars made out of textile and coated paper that takes inspiration from birds and their capacity to transform their body with volume and colors during the mating period. (Mitsios, 2010).

Alexander McQueen's AutumnWinter 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2017


Beetle Fall Ready To Wear 2008 Marios Schwab appears to have a love for nature. The following dress collection was inspired by the beetle family of insects. A clear impact of the creepy creatures in these beetleinspired attires is actually a beautiful one(bayas, 2008).

Siamese Fighting Fish Rodarte’s fall/winter 2008 runway show presented stunning ethereal and flowing dresses that seemed to be inspired by the complex beauty and graceful movements of exotic fish, (mediterranean, 2008).


Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Fall 2008

Alexander McQueen S S 2010

Jean-Paul Gaultier's AW 2008


2.3 Prints, Accessories & Embellishments Runway Goes Wild - Spring 2018

From Left to right - Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Marini & Gucci. The natural world is a veritable symphony of stunning creation and inspiration, thus it is not surprising to see designers taking cues from it when devising new styles or products. And so, Animal prints continued to inspire designers throughout the Spring 2018 - Ready to wear collections as well.


Dolce Gabbana- Leopard backpack

2017 Couture Fashion Week - Giambattista Valli JEWELRY TREND OF 2017: ROARING ANIMAL JEWELRY! One of the big trends is for conserving nature, for sustainability. A love that expresses itself beautifully in jewelry that reflects nature. The animal kingdom is an essential part of our wonderful planet and more often we relate to a certain animal for its particular traits. This further inspires designers, innovators, artists across fields towards new innovation (Ligthart, 2017).

2017-18 Fall-Winter collection for men With the millennials as their target market, Dolce & Gabbana invited 49 influencers and social media stars to showcase their newest collection on the catwalk. The “New Princes”. Many pieces of the collection were inspired by the exotic beauty of Bengal cats. From Bengal printed pants, suits, PJs, and hoodies, to Bengal-inspired faux fur jackets and backpacks, there were spread all over the collection. The gorgeous spotted cats seem to be a never-ending source of inspiration, as the last year’s D&G collection for women was heavily influenced by Bengal cats as well (Anon,2017).

Sophia Webster - Butterfly Stilettos Sophia Webster offers a unique aesthetic, incorporating feminine elements with a modern and sophisticated style. Her Butterfly stilettos are no exception and are adored by all age groups.


2.4 Street Style

Salamander sunnies.

Bold Prints,Feather Accessories animal inspired fashion has taken over the streets as well.


2.5 Other Products

The Baby Crow Wing Hair Clip By Etsy seller Sanguinem Libidine. Any Goth girl's dream hair accessory. The hair piece resembles a closed baby crow wing decorated with shiny plastic discs in addition to its red and black latex flowers sewn on by hand (Butss, 2014).

Animal Inspired Furnitre Animal-inspired furniture designs are just the thing to make your room stand out. Be it the Bunny Chair by Iskos-Berlin or the Frank Lamp by Pana Objects, influenced by the playful qualities of puppies (Makmanee, 2013)

Advertising Thout provoking advertisements to promote cruelty-free fashion. Current window display - Diesel.

Cow Inspired Shoes By Nike

Nike released edgy, fur-covered sneakers. Covered in a light colored fur on the sides as well as on the upper portion. They are a close resemblance to the skin pattern of cows (bayas, 2008).



CONCLUSION The cross - species connection between humans and animals is much older and important than given credit for. Animals have been a major part of human history, driving human evolution for millions of years and even helping us invent language and other tools for civilization. Greatly influencing human psychology, hunting practices, territoriality and social behavior (Anon, 2016). Thus it is not surprising that fashion draws inspiration from probably the first companions humans ever had, animals. Fashion has been inspired by nature since the days the first humans donned animal furs and headdresses (Bartz, 2008) and continues to inspire creative personals in various fields. The amazing images throughout the study prove just how much inspiration fashion designers and other creative's take from their surroundings.


WHY SHOULD HUMANS HAVE ALL THE FUN ? True to any co-existing relationship it is not just fashion taking cue from animals but today even animals can take a cue or two from the fashionistas.

Ralph Lauren Pets

The famous American brand has always boasted the most classic polos and preppy sweaters, and their pet line is no exception (Crocetti, 2017).

New York Pet Fashion Week

More than 150 furry fashionistas gathered together for the 2017 New York Pet Fashion Show Presented by TropiClean. The theme of the night was “Global Couture for Animal Rescue (Tan, 2017).�

Ed Ellen DeGeneres

The comedian and TV personality has designed home decor, accessories, human clothes, and now, pet clothes. From adorable bow-tie collars to preppy striped tees, Degeneres collection has it all (Crocetti, 2017).


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Chua, J. (2010). "Morphotex" Dress Mimics Butterfly Wing Shimmer Without Any Dyes. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2017]. Crocetti, R. (2017). 12 Dog Clothing Brands That’ll Have Your Pup Winning Best Dressed. [online] Available at: http://www. [Accessed 26 Nov. 2017].


Free Association - Animals & Fashion  
Free Association - Animals & Fashion