Summer Safari in Utility Utopia

More than ever, fashion trends are making their come-back from the shallow graves in which they were abandoned – that’s just the business of fashion, as with anything else that has a cyclical trajectory. 

So far, we’ve touched on some recently-resuscitated trends like ruffles, which have redeemed their rightful post on fashion’s forefront with huge designers like Dolce & Gabbana focusing on incorporating an almost-filial amount of flounced fabrics into recent collections. Asymmetrical fashion is another trend that’s recaptured the eye of designers and stylists alike, with uneven cuts and hemlines making a cameo in collections by Haizhen Wang, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. 

Just last week, J.ING delved into denim’s dominating return to the runway and on haute couture’s most beloved young taste-makers like Bella and Gigi Hadid, both of whom have been spotted sporting the Canadian Tuxedo during their “off-duty, on-point” appearances out and about in the city.

Animal Print skirt and cardigan by Burberry

Burberry

Utility inspired clothing Kendall Jenner runway

Burberry

Although we've covered patterns and prints, one in particular managed to escape our list, despite its permanent stake in the print game - one could say it's an animal of its own.

YES, we are talking about the ever-exotic animal print pattern; it's only natural for felines to grace the catwalks once in a while. 

Designers are indulging our wild side with cheetahs, leopards and snakes – oh my.

Rocking an apex predator's unmistakable uniform can transform us into a confident and fearless beast ourselves, according to legend (I can personally attest and challenge naysayers to wear snakeskin anything and tell me they don't feel downright dangerous in it!).

Even a leopard-printed dress can take you from zero to 100, real quick. There's a sense of power that leopards, cheetahs and snakes are inextricably tied with, and that we take on by putting on their patterns.

Animal shorts on runway by Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent

Animal print outfit on model by Zimmerman

Zimmerman

Neon green snakeskin blazer on model for

Emporio Armani


Utility Utopia

The utility look has been seen on the catwalk and spreading everywhere that fashion exists. Maybe it’s the simplicity, ruggedness, classic construction or austere style that makes utility-inspired fashion extremely accessible and easy to wear. Utility blends function, purpose and minimalism. Add post-modernity to the mix and you have...well, a totally new definition of "utility clothing," which isn't afraid to feature frivolous buckles, buttons and embellishments devoid of any discernible function or purpose other than fashion

When it comes to utility clothing, you have the British government in the early '40s to thank when they imposed on British civilians clothing rations in the form of coupons that limited the amount of new clothing they could purchase, as fabrics and raw materials during WWII  were needed for uniforms. 

Utility clothing had its own distinct mark, “CC41,” which stood for Civilian Clothing 1941. 

The utility look still was massively popular among civilians even after the war had ended. Who could resist the basic designs, functionality, affordability and guaranteed quality construction?

And now, nearly 80 years later, utility in fashion has returned – though this time it's not out of necessity, unless you consider looking effortlessly stylish a necessity.

Now that you’ve got the rundown on these two tantalizing fashion trends, it’s time for you to make the most out of these valuable advice by rocking it yourself. Don’t know where to start? You know we’ve got you covered!

Utility Shirt Dress on model in desert by J.ING women's fashion clothing

More Animal Skin & Utility Looks

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