Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On the Radar -- Call of the Wild (pt.2)

So, part 2 of the Call of the Wild trend posts is all about reptiles.  Skins, that is...

Fall 2012
OK, so this look is a bit overboard, but I think this advertisement illustrates my point beautifully.  If you want to add an animal touch to your wardrobe (or your home), you can think texture in addition to print.  I'm not sure if this is real croc, or embossed leather, but the natural variations in the pattern add a great feel to the edgy cut of all these pieces.

Reptile skins can be classic and subtle, or they can be modern and fresh, like this new take on a snake skin pattern:

Fall 2012

That's the magic of taking inspiration from nature.  There's something sensual and organic about it, but it can be transformed into many, many different forms.  Abstracted, modernized, timeless, or elegant.  It can be anything you want it to be.  And that's why designers (and trends) always come back to it.

When I worked in product development, I had a cache of photos that inspired me.  Trends were important in my industry.  I kept a large magazine tear sheet file, and rotated photos on my massive pin board in my office every season.  But there were probably around 20 images that I saved in a file on my computer.  I went back to those images over and over when I was designing-- and most of them weren't related to fashion.  Or home decor.

They were pictures of nature, animals, patterns, vintage things, architecture, art -- anything that could be an inspiration through its form, color, and content.  This particular photo was shared between us Blackbird girls -- one of us teaches science -- and it was labeled as "cool" to us.  I saw it and thought, "What a great pattern.  And the colors!"  And it was forever locked away in my inspiration file, pulled out when I needed a little push to design something.  Here he is:

Bad-Ass Snake, photo from
We knew reptile skins -- crocodile, in particular -- were coming around again when we started buying it (we have three pairs of shoes listed in the Etsy shop right now) and when we started seeing it pop up in random places, like a croc patterned backsplash on HGTV.  Then, when we looked through the fall magazines, every other page had reptile -- bags, shoes, dresses.  So I guess, everything old really is new again...

Ferragamo Heels, from our Etsy Shop
See you later, alligator...

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