Animal prints make a quiet, if noticeable, entry into menswear

Animal prints have seldom been associated with sartorial sophistication, unless, of course, it really is a dead, processed animal of some form that’s been flung across. More often than not they tend to remind one of a hitchhiking, head-to-toe leopard print-clad Shania Twain crooning “That don’t impress me much” — matching hatbox in tow. In high-fashion, animal prints are the easy way to do sexy. (Ask Cavalli). And more often than not, they’re an element in women’s wear, the men’s Fall/ Winter 2013-14 shows, thereby, proving a departure. While animal prints in clothes have so far been restricted to leopard spots and tiger stripes, giraffes and zebras have entered the enclosure, the latter most remarkable in Versace — giraffe print trousers paired with fur coats, giraffe print suits, zebra print bombers over trousers in love with the same stripes.

Yohji Yamamoto, which was also big on FW 2013’s checks trend, saw leopard prints in small — if regular and more practical — doses. They came on silk ties (green) and knitwear (purple), while white tiger stripes were the prints on trousers.

Many years ago Hedi Slimane introduced skinny in menswear. (Apparently, it was to get into those skinny trousers that Karl Lagerfeld shed the pounds.) His menswear debut for Saint Laurent was, therefore, awaited eagerly. Turns out, he’s not putting back volume now either. Trousers — leather pants, ripped jeans, etc. — were Slimane’s more than Saint Laurent’s. They came paired with overcoats and chunky knitted mufflers, with leopard prints coming on vests, including one in a sequinned red paired with a pea coat. Velvet eveningwear in tiger stripes did the roaring at Etro.