Snake is slithering back into style
WASHINGTON: Cleopatra made the snake a fashion symbol back in BC Egypt, sporting a sacred cobra on her diadem – and in legend, using one to off herself.
In the 1970s, “Texas cowboys wore rattlesnake boots, and it signalled triumph over adversity”, says Janice Ellinwood, chair of Marymount University’s department of fashion design and merchandising. The reptile has slithered back into style, both on actual snakeskin accessories (pumps, purses, jewellery) and on knitwear, dresses and skirts in scaled-yet-lush prints recalling the hides of everything from anacondas to water moccasins.
“It’s a non-print print,” says Betsy Fisher, owner of the Washington boutique that bears her name. She’s carrying a range of serpentine pieces, including Ted Rossi’s regal, rocker-ish pythonskin rings, cuffs and necklaces.
“Snakeskin is a neutral that’s rich and warm, but fresher than the cat prints we’ve seen,” she says. “It can even be a nice way of showing an affinity with nature.”
The biblical trouble Eve had with a serpent and an apple, and some people’s ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) means that the mottled pattern carries a bit of danger and edge. “It’s got a sense of toughness, since snakes are such survivors,” says Katherine Limon, owner of the Washington eco-boutique Carbon.
Yet, too many reptilian pieces can be overkill. Stick to one scaly piece at a time.
“I like a cream sweater dress with a pair of snakeskin booties,” says Limon.
If you do walk too far over to the wild side, change is just a matter of shedding some skin. – The Washington Post
REPTILIAN: A faux snake obi by Karen Zambos and a Kate Spade python-print leather handbag.