My scratchpost: On the Hot Tin Catwalk

 

On the hot tin catway - cat blogCat motifs in fashion - Milly cat dress

Cats are HOT right now. Cats are elegant, sleek, graceful and intriguing animals which have been revered since time immemorial. The image of the cat has been used over and over again by fashion designers since its sleek and feminine lines are appealing. Few animals fit the bill for a pleasing graphic. Imagine Anna Sui designing a t-shirt with a hippopotamus silk screened on the front, feasting in a mangrove swamp with gaps of missing yellow teeth. This might please the Animal Defense League, but I couldn’t imagine a socialite, celebrity or gym rat sporting a hippo t-shirt even if designed by Kaiser Karl (Lagerfeld) or picked up for a dime. On the other hand, a flash-dance styled sweatshirt with a kitty cat face graced by an oversized red satin bow, is acceptable for a strut up Madison Avenue or a Zumba® workout.

For the past few months I have noticed the pointy eared feline resurface in fashion, housewares and tchotchkes galore. We humans are obsessed with this domesticated yet mysterious and alluring animal. Nowhere is this obsession more prominent than in Japan. An article in Wired Magazine “In Search of the Living, Purring, Singing Heart of the Online Cat-Industrial Complex” goes into depth about the ubiquity of cats in Japanese culture. For example, Japan’s biggest feline online celebrity, Maru, has his Youtube channel which is the 7th-most-subscribed channel. Call me crazy, but, I’m not amused by a cat getting into a small box and sharing it on Facebook. In comparison to Japanese culture, Americans are not too far off in terms of this obsession. America’s cat-obsessed can be seen at Costco pushing an overflowing cart of Meow-Mix, while sporting the newest sassy t-shirt that says “I am my cat’s mommy”, “I brake for Himalayans,” or “My cat can beat up your cat.”

I have been a fan of Japanese designers and Japanese street-style culture forever. However, I have a hard time dealing with the “Anime” culture. It seems so passé. Where does the overexposure and over saturation of “cute” begin and where does it end? How can juvenile cat clothing become fashionable in the mainstream? Who determines when “cutesy” gets a leg up, gets the stamp of sophisticated approval and touted by the fashion cognoscenti? As for the Anime ideal, I just don’t feel comfortable rolling around town wide-eyed, giggling incessantly with my pink dip-dyed hair, overweight Persian cat named “Gaggles” nestled on my lap, staring perplexed at his hot pink rhinestone image bejazzled across my entire t-shirt chest.

Cat motifs in women's fashion
1. Love Moschino Cat Print Jumper  2. Marc by Marc Jacobs cat keychain 3. Marni Scratchy Cat silk-twill dress 4. Agent Provocateur cat eye studded sunnies 5. Marie Merci Chamonix Hat  6. Charlotte Olympia Cat Face pump 7. Opening Ceremony cat sweater 8. Meow bracelet by Jamie Kreitman®.

The world of fashion has to find an icon to anoint, one which is relatable and marketable. What could be better than the ever alluring graphic of the feminine and feline form? On February 7th Glamour Magazine threw a party for the Glamour Cat Fashion Concept Store, a collaboration with Opening Ceremony who created a cat sweater collection for the occasion. Glamour editor Cindi Leive was quoted as saying: “Respect the cat!” “Seriously. Cats are not a a trend, they are a permanent aspect of society. Look at Egypt.”

Yes, Cindi, you got that right! Culturally, there was “CATS” on Broadway for an eternity. Right now, it’s standing room only for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” starring Scarlett Johanssen. Shall I go on? Back to our topic du jour, I ask why the image of the cat, which has been recycled and rehashed endlessly, can’t be translated into more sophisticated imagery? I’d prefer to see artistic suggestions of the feline form or features rather than literal images. I’m OVER supersized images of floating cat heads plopped dead center on tops. This look might get an A+ in the cuteness department, but would be grist for the mill for the acerbic commentary by renown fashion blogger, “Man Repeller.” If you must, wear your fave cat motif sweaters. But I needn’t suggest how unwise it would be to wear on a blind date. Double entendres abound especially if the cat motif sweater is rendered in shades of grey. Take my word, you will most likely be risking any thoughts of a long term relationship.

The current cat motif trend began with the original “ugly as chic” fabulous designer at whose altar I worship….. Miuccia Prada. Her cat print influenced everyone who can thread a needle. From her catwalk designs emanate many of the trends which we see a few weeks later in the mass stores. If only the renditions had her class and weren’t so crass!

Cat fashion that should be in a litterbox Topshop Cat Novelty All in One, TopShop Photo Cat Tee, Modcloth Cat Eyeglasses Red Sweater, Jeffrey Campbell Cat Tapestry Boots

Wheelchair girl street style cat fashion

What am I wearing? Cat dress by Milly, vintage sunnies, vintage tie beret, Chanel Maryjanes, Alex Blake fishnets, “Fetch it” Purse by Patch NYC.

Styled by Jamie Kreitman®.

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Thanks IFB (International Fashion Bloggers) for adding my “On the Hot Tin Catwalk” blog post to your weekly roundup of fashion bloggers for March 28th. Scroll down to view the 19 bloggers who were also chosen.

The Beautiful Abyss

Beauty is only skin deep, beauty comes from within. From actually taking care of your skin to being comfortable in your own skin, this is where style starts. We’ve had a lot of thoughtful entries this week, and I loved reading the posts. Breaking style rules, mixing punk and modesty, and a full on deconstruction of cats on the internet and fashion (my two favorite things). Anyway, before I digress, you’ll get lost in a world commentary so perhaps you’ll digress into the abyss as well.

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup March 28th

SPONSOR: Shopbop New: Superga, VPL Shoes, MSGM , 360 Sweaters , Monika Chiang, Paul Andrew, Thierry Lasry, Vionnet, Minuit Douze, Lacey Ryan, Rue Du Mail

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9 Comments

  1. I love your cat print dress! Congrats on the Links A La Mode feature :)

    -Tori

    Fashion, Trends & More

  2. Love those sunglasses!

  3. aw so cute. I am a new convert to loving cats (really, I'm a dog person). Very sad to say that my favorite cat ever passed away about a month ago so this is a bittersweet reminder

  4. Your outfit is amazing, and I wish all posts were so clever and well-crafted as this one.

  5. Rrrrrreow! No need to remind you of my penchant for cats. GREAT topic this week! Thought I'd send my all time favorite cat video. With 7 million hits, I guess I'm not alone


  6. You look divine. I heard a rumor that the fox is going to be "the new cat." Who wouldn't choose "vixen" over "kittenish." That red hat — so close to that line between cool and kitsch.

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