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Fashion / Style File

Meow!

Cats Emerge as the Hot Fashion Accessory of the Season:

BY // 09.12.16

Meow is the new black.

Yes, dear reader. You heard it here, first. Cats are trending for fall. Forget Yeezy. Forget Oscar. Forget Tom Ford and his I’m-seasonally-relevant-now fall collection. Forget it all. Here’s why: All you need to be stylish for fall is, well, a feline.

Look at the cover of Porter magazine. Model Edita Vilkeviciute is holding a tiny tabby. (They were photographed by Bruce Weber!) Have you seen the Carolina Herrera ads? Those little kittens, in that little handbag, with that handsome gent nearby. The cats-get-you-a-hot-man messaging will have you reaching for a button-down and ball-gown in no time. Even Stella McCartney — who, we may add, was one step ahead of the curve — went purrfectly wild with the cat trend for her pre-fall collection of clothes completely covered in, you guessed it, a groovy ’70s-style cat print.

Stella McCartney Pre-Fall 2016 (Photo via vogue.com)
Stella McCartney Pre-Fall 2016 (Photo via vogue.com)

Kristina O’Neill, one of our most admired editors-in-chief, featured not one, but two, cats in the illustrated portion of her editor’s letter for the September issue of The Wall Street Journal Magazine. Bravo to the artist behind the drawing, Alejandro Cardenas, whose singing cat-woman (she’s apparently an allusion to cover star Meryl Streep’s character in Florence Foster Jenkins) is as chic as they come. Streep would be the most elegant cat of them all.

That very same issue, The Wall Street Journal dedicated its entire Review cover page to a story headlined, “Yes, You Can Train Your Cat.” This, my friends, is the same section that is known for publishing the Journal’s most thoughtful essays, commentary and reviews. Apparently, cats are not just stylish — they’re categorized as smart, too.

And you know it’s a trend when the trickle-down effect begins.

Holiday Gifting

  • Nocturne Studio
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Casa di Lino
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes

(For those not quite sure what I mean, you’ll recall the scene in Devil Wears Prada when editor Miranda Priestly schools assistant Andy Sachs on her lack of knowledge as to why she’s wearing a certain blue sweater. “That sweater is not just blue. It’s actually cerulean,” she says. “And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent … wasn’t it … who showed cerulean military jackets? … And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it filtered down through the department stores, and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin.”)

Spotted: L'Oréal's newest mascara, Voluminous Feline
Spotted: L’Oréal’s newest mascara, Voluminous Feline

Case in point? Kitties are even making appearances in the less-luxury arena. Take Kate Spade, for example. Cute girls. Party dresses. Cats. You’d think the folks at Kate Spade would have played with cats before. It’s quite perfect, really, for their peppy, girly brand.

Bloggers, too, have latched on, including Garance Doré, who recently posted a blog with some half-dozen shoppable cat-themed accessories. L’Oréal has a new mascara line, conveniently called Voluminous Feline. And It’s only a matter of time before Zara, then H&M, then Target start rolling out their hip, knock-off versions of the haute cat — by which time, we will have all moved on to some other form of animal to obsess over.

Perhaps it will be turtles — or maybe even stingrays. What is the hot new YouTube animal star? I don’t know.

Pop culture is also listening to the mews. Broadway has brought back its mega-hit musical Cats, and mark my words: Mr Mistoffelees and his ruffled tux will be hot for spring. His whole vibe was very Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, when she does her avant-garde dance in the Parisian café, no?

All this has me wondering: What does the queen of fashion cats, Choupette Lagerfeld, have to say about this? Is all this cat-ness for fall simply the rest of the fashion flock catching on to what the Kaiser, sir Karl Lagerfeld, has been on to this whole time? Is fashion’s original Cat Man flying high in his private jet (Choupette, freshly groomed and eating out of porcelain dishes by his side), chuckling to himself as he watches us mortals finally realize that cats are the epitome of luxury? Probably.

Home, chic home.

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