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  • “As a pattern it’s HYPNOTIC, the PERFECT counterpart to lace, DayGlo COLOR or even denim”

    You wouldn’t mess with a woman wearing the latter. Cleopatra, she had the right idea, did she not…


    Not that python is anything new. Goodness, no; the trend has been stealthily bubbling away for quite some time. Think of Stella McCartney’s genius Falabella clutches in fluoro faux python or indeed the python-print silk shirts Christopher Kane sent out on the runway with ripped jeans back in 2008. It’s only now, though, that the trend feels properly out and proud, with Gucci, Preen, Erdem and Proenza Schouler all focusing strongly on snake skins and prints for SS13. As a pattern it’s hypnotic, the perfect counterpart to lace, DayGlo color or even denim. And isn’t there something almost verging on dainty about how some women manage to pull it off? A case in point is the Crown Princess Letizia of Spain (right), whom I spied in a recent photograph teaming a simple python pencil skirt with pumps, flesh-colored tights and a nice, safe, gray cashmere cardigan.

    Ooh, I love a royal with a bit of edge. But then, even the python-print bomber jacket Erdem styled with a matching shift couldn’t have been more ladylike and twin-set-friendly if it tried. Kate Middleton, take my advice: that is absolutely the style direction you should be heading in once you’ve had the baby.

    Now, don’t recoil. I’m not talking head to toe here; I’m not necessarily even talking real. We actually have a python in our household and although I’m terrified of her, it would be terrible if anything happened to our pet, let alone if someone started wearing her. One thing is for sure, though, we’re certainly not talking skintight. That would be far too ’70s. This time round, it’s looser.

    What we are talking about is accents: using python as a vehicle to urbanize a look that might otherwise come across as girly or bland. A prime example is the elegantly demure blush chiffon dress from Bottega Veneta that actress Amanda Seyfried wore to a recent awards ceremony, with its panels of iridescent python catching the light beautifully.

    You see, whatever your moral stance, a ‘wall’ of skin, real or not, is enough to make anyone feel a little queasy. But a pair of Gianvito Rossi’s creamy python pumps on bare, tanned feet? A shiny, python-print silk skirt from Preen with a demure, sleeveless white shirt and flats? Or Proenza’s A-line skirt in patchworked python and fluoro, shown in perfect throwaway style on the runway with a textured T-shirt and a messy braid? Even an iPad cover will do. It doesn’t take a lot to get involved. It shouldn’t take a lot to get involved. It’s a flavor, rather than an entire look. Just keep the image of an aging rock chick in mind as a warning, and you’ll be fine.”

    THE DECADENT ACCESSORIES

    Subtly embrace the look with pumps or a faux printed tote.

    THE A-LINE SKIRT

    Team with a skinny black sweater for a nod to the ’60s.

    THE SHIFT DRESS

    Keep accessories to a minimum when wearing a column of print.

    how to do

    python

    FOUR WAYS TO WEAR

    snakeskin print

    credits

    Photograph: Getty Images

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