I’ve never been a cat lover but I’ve always adored leopard print – and this winter, it looks set to be THE pattern to be seen with. In fact I’m lusting after a leopard print coat from Topshop. Here are selection of some of my favourite stylish leading ladies in leopard print, starting with the sexy and elegant Anne Bancroft in her most famous role – as Mrs Robinson in The Graduate (1967).
Even in leopard print, the lovely Audrey Hepburn looks as demure as ever …
While Anne Bancroft’s Mrs Robinson wore her leopard on her head and as a trim on her collar, and Audrey went for a typically chic little pillbox hat, the luminous Carole Lombard wore leopard on her hat, collar and muffler in her breakthrough film, Twentieth Century (1934).
Leopard print has always been associated with bad girls and in the 1940s, one of the vampiest bad girls on the big screen was Barbara Stanwyck who accessorizes with leopard print in this picture in a surprisingly restrained and elegant way … Mind you, the pout and the come-hither eyes compensate!
I can’t think of any photos of Marilyn Monroe sporting leopard print offscreen but she wears it beautifully in the early ocean liner scenes of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).
Kim Novak was another 1950s blonde star who memorably sported leopard print – as if to underline her slinky, feline quality – especially in the wonderfully stylish romantic comedy Bell, Book and Candle.
So far, so useful in terms of style inspiration for this winter. I doubt that many of us will be taking a leaf out of Gene Tierney’s book, though: