You've seen them already, peeking out of shop windows and nested in sweaters. The woodland critters are out in full force.
The thought of a knitted reindeer sweater is a chilling thought. But in an iconoclastic turn, those blithe librarians are now more chic than well, just plain awful.
Fashion obligators are now scowling thrift store pile-ups in attempts to get these garish sweaters cheap. Animal-themed clothing has seen a revival from the retrograde years as many luxury couture brands started to promote it as their centrepieces. Before, animal print was but for the lowly Orange County housewife, but now animal motifs are being welcomed by the public in open, dare I say, paws.
This time last year, the birds were top of the roost.
Miu Miu and Mulberry's ornithological prints took full flight in their respective A/W 2011 collections. This motif inspiration was swept up by high-street labels, such as River Island or Zara, but as these birds fly south for the winter, what has become of our fashion zoo for 2012?
Burberry is the new Mulberry of 2012. Opting for singular motifs instead of all overs, Burberry took a cartoonish, almost child-like approach to the animal kingdom. With the occasionally bejewelled print placed on t-shirts, knitwear and even dress shirts. Coming mostly in the form of woodland creatures: dogs, owls and foxes were all canonised in the collection. But it seems that the sentiments of both the public and celebs is that the owl motif is the top of the animal kingdom.
Image Credit: Room31Fashion
While British Olympian Tom Daley may have other things to say about this, the plethora of celebrities, Kate Bosworth (above), on 'team owl' all suggest that the owl motif will be the prime print to seep you claws in for this year's winter days. Or you can, as Tom did, go for team dog instead...
Image Credit: Fashionbeans
The third critter in this woodland threefold is the allusive fox. This adjective can be applied to its prevalence in the high-street too. Fox-themed clothing has generally been scarce, perhaps due to its ambiguous relations with the "Fur is Murder" of the noughties, but despite its past, it's been lapped up too. The most dynamic view being - unsurprisingly - Burberry's Menswear collection. The emblems are made out of bizarre geometric shapes. Some resembling leaves, it creates a tribal-like atmosphere, contrasting both the clothing it is imprinted on, and that of Burberry's sartorial looks typical in the A/W season.
This coming of age fad seems rather ironic. Like I mentioned earlier, some people, do in fact, wear or are fond of animal-oriented gear even before the fashion lords dictate we must do. All you must do is take a gander at popular independent merchant sites such as Etsy, to see that this new 'inspiration' for fashionistas across the world has actually been evident for years now.
It can now be safe to say that the owl, amongst other wild beasts, have been let aloof and are here to stay for the coming winter months.