Safari Fashions

By Sharon Mosley

March 14, 2012 3 min read

Animal prints have become a classic on the fashion landscape, but this spring the tribe has spoken and the wildlife is breaking out in new territories. Native tribal motifs are turning up in everything from graphic jungle-print chiffon tunics to primitive shark-teeth necklaces.

Here's a checklist of some quick ways to add a little wildlife to your wardrobe this spring:

--Leather cuffs, wooden bangles, cord bracelets and horn-trimmed earrings. Try woven beaded clutches in geometric designs. For real luxury, Fendi beads its abstract clutches in artful native designs.

--Bold gold necklaces, chunky chokers and chains sparked with shark-tooth charms and suede-fringed bib necklaces that speak volumes all on their own.

--Strappy printed sandals. You'll find traditional leopard prints on all kinds of footwear, but python is a fresher twist on the trend this season.

--Color plays a major role in the tribal fashion trek this year -- deep browns, tawny golds, blacks, reds and oranges all mixed together in playful prints that are often updated with digital style.

--Check out designer Michael Kors, who went on safari with his spring collection, calling it "AfriLuxe," and included animal print shorts, python swimsuits and animal hair cross-body shoulder bags.

But with all this fashion going on safari this spring, there are a few tips to keep in mind when wearing animal prints:

--Wear one print at a time. The head-to-toe safari look is hard to pull off. Unless you're in a movie like "Out of Africa," don't even try. If you do find an animal-print dress that you fall in love with, make sure it is a sleek, fitted shape if it's a large print; if it is a more flowing shape, make sure the print is on the smaller side.

--Don't be afraid to mix natural fabrics with different textures -- beads with wood, braided leather and gold. This is especially true when it comes to accessories that can really add that exotic touch of tribal inspiration to any outfit fast.

--If you're piling on the horn cuffs and the shark-teeth necklaces, then make sure your clothes are understated in a solid color like black or khaki or red for a more sophisticated silhouette.

Sharon Mosley's weekly column, "In Fashion," can be found at creators.com.

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