• Olivia Hansen

Tiger King has reignited my love for animal prints



If you thought 2020 couldn’t possibly get any crazier - you were wrong. You clearly haven’t watched Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, the Netflix series that has become a global phenomenon. As we currently hide away from the pandemic, it is only fitting that we would escape into Netflix and find solace in a show that feels more complicated and surreal than the unprecedented times that we are living in. It's hard to pin point what’s more outlandish, Joe Exotic and his fashion sense, Carol’s ex-husbands disappearance, polygamy or the poor big cats that are at the centre of all the drama.

Joe Exotic, the man behind the self given title, ‘Tiger King’, dons a unique peroxide mullet and 80s porn star tash, while making sure that he is suited and booted in garishly over the top sequinned leopard print shirts, fringe, leather trousers and country boots - after all he is also a country singer, while his arch nemesis, Carol Baskin, presents herself as an animal-print- clashing hippy enthusiast. I hope you are following because the eccentric cat inspired looks don’t stop there, at ‘The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species’ run by Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, his wives/or sexual partners dress in what can only be described as 'sexy safari' looks.


A glimpse inside Carol Baskin's closet

The Cut puts perfectly that, “it makes sense that a group of people whose lives are apparently dedicated to the preservation of big cats would be inspired to dress in their image, but it’s nevertheless fascinating to see how this particular aesthetic seems to unite them (many of whom, in the Tiger King universe, are mortal enemies.)” Fashion has united the main characters in Tiger King the same way that the programme is uniting its viewers right now. While the outrageous fashion appears to put them in a galaxy far away from the one that you and I are living in, let us not forget that animal prints have been a staple the wardrobes of almost all women.

L to R: Balenciaga, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Etro

SS20 proved to be no different, there were leopard coats at Balenciaga, zebra print skirts at Burberry, a LOT of animal print at Dolce & Gabbana, and shorts at Etro (to name a few), confirming that this much loved trend is not going anywhere. And while, it is clear that Joe and Carol's looks correlate with a sartorial car-crash rather than any high fashion runway look. The characters are outcasts of society and live by their own rules (good or bad ... that is debatable), but we must admire how their dedication to their own fashion rules, their confidence and risk taking for the statement print, stands out amongst the madness on the show.


Once I had finished the series and didn't know what to do with myself, I returned to Instagram to get my daily dose, and couldn't help but notice an abundance of animal prints wherever I looked. Yes animal prints have been around since the late 1960's, but this show has been a catalyst that has opened my eyes to all the possibilities for the print.


L to R: Blanca Miró Scrimieri wearing Paco Rabanne jacket and Katherine Ormerod wearing Baukjen


Let us not forget about the Queen of Leopard Print, Kate Moss!

Here are my top picks of the best animal print pieces that you can get your paws during quarantine, whether you are wanting to look 'fierce' at home or pieces that you can incorporate to your summer wardrobe.


Happy Shopping!



Rixo dress at Far Fetch, £237 (Sale), www.farfetch.com



Ganni trousers at Selfridges, £280, www.selfridges.com


Gucci sunglasses at Matches Fashion, £304, www.matchesfashion.com


Topshop blouse, £32 (Sale), www.topshop.com


Whistles belt, £41.25 (Sale), www.whistles.com



Office sandals, £49, www.office.com


The Attico at Browns Fashion, £408, www.brownsfashion.com


Balenciaga at Matches Fashion, £791, www.matchesfashion.com


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