Snake addict

All over the catwalks and the choice of street style influencers, snakeskin print has been around for a few seasons now, taking pride of place in fashion’s animal kingdom.

When it comes to snakeskin print, the first piece of advice you tend to hear is to settle for little touches, usually with accessories. We aren’t going to dispute this – it’s true that a pair of python ankle boots can easily add a nice zing to an outfit.

That said, setting too much store by this assumption could make you think that, no matter how it’s styled, reptile print is just a bit too much. While it may be true that working with animal print can require a little care, it’s recently become a real fashion asset, managing to shake off its once sleazy reputation in the process. As Kaa from the Jungle Book might say: Trussssssst meee! We’re here to help you pull off reptile print with confidence.

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MASTERING TONE ON TONE

Snakeskin doesn’t always have to be loud and eccentric. When printed tone on tone, it adds a discreet edge, subtly spicing up a look that is missing that certain something. Its luminescent play of scales brings subtle nuances of color, adding a twist to a simple ankle boot with a light shimmery effect. Whether in a pair of Vanessa Wu cowboys or buckled ankle boots, you’ll strike the perfect balance between making a strong impression and creating a closet staple that you can slip on like a second skin.

BE BOLD WITH COLOR

There’s so much fun to be had with the color gradient of this scaly print – snakeskin is screaming out to be your new fashion playground. Far from being limited to classic shades such as black or brown, it works just as well in more striking colors. Take Roberto Cavalli, for example, who created a new species with bright blue scales, or be inspired by Saint Laurent’s use of yellow tones. Vanessa Wu has a vision of snakeskin in deep blue, revamping the classic Chelsea boot for a bold look that is perfect for crossing the urban jungle.

MIXING PRINTS

Animal print, especially in its snake incarnation, can easily work alongside other patterns. The key thing is to play with textures and designs. Our tip: mix prints from the same color palette. But if you really want to go bold, you can always choose a more clashing combo for a look with more contrast.

You might feel safer sticking to the animal theme by mixing snakeskin with leopard, or any of the other patterns from the savannah or the jungle. Note how Paco Rabanne plays with layers: mixing a red snakeskin trench with leopard print for a skillfully crafted touch of rock’n’roll. Why not try a slinky blouse that has a mix of animal patterns with a pair of Vanessa Wu snakeskin trainers for a casual chic look with a wild side?

Or you might prefer to team snakeskin with a Liberty print, as Anna Sui did in her cruise collection. The first print brings an energy to the pastoral calm of the flowers, while the second print softens the snakeskin’s sleazy edge, creating a fine balance that oozes self-assured femininity.

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