Leopard Print Bikinis, Old Havana Charm, And Fashion Imitating Art

To some, Memorial Day is the kick-off to summer. But, summer solstice is the official start of summer. Say hello to sunshine, less clothing, and relaxed days.

Summer solstice is one of the most important days in certain faiths. Some people use the longest day of the year to harvest the intentions that they set back in spring.

The days will be getting shorter. Longer nights. Shorter days. That’s not the only thing getting shorter. The hemlines will also be getting shorter with the hot weather approaching.

It hasn’t felt much like spring. It was cold and cloudy in most parts of New England.

I am definitely looking forward to feeling the warm sun on my back. Summer is on my mind, especially when I look towards the summer trends.

These are just some the trends that caught my eye lately. I’ve come across these trends on social media, TV, and on the runway.

LEOPARD PRINT SWIMWEAR

She wore an itsy bitsy,

Teeny-weeny,

Leopard print bikini.

Usually it’s the thong bikini, string bikini, or high-cut one-piece swimsuit that has us dropping our jaws lately.

Each one of these pieces are sexy and scintillating in their own way.

Those swimsuits are certainly not for the shy and timid. There’s no possible way to contain your assets when wearing one.

But, I think there’s nothing sexier than wearing a leopard print bikini.

Leopard print swimwear was all the rage for the 2017 Memorial Day weekend. Countless celebs were seen in one on social media.

You could say the leopard print bikini is the late 2000s’ answer to the polka dot bikini from the late 80s.

Models Ashley Graham and Shanina Shaik showed off their enviable figures in leopard print bikinis on Instagram.

High School Musical stars and BFFs Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale spent Memorial Day shaking it in their leopard print thong bikinis, according to their Instagram accounts.

When Bella Thorne hung out with Scott Disick at the Cannes Film Festival, she literally mixed it up in a mix-and-match bikini.

She wore a tiny animal print bikini top with pink checkered bikini bottoms. She further accessorized her look with bangle bracelets, messy hair, and sunglasses.

While Bella Thorne’s look is certainly unconventional, it proves that sometimes, you don’t have to wear all-over animal print.

You don’t even have to wear a leopard print bikini. For example, an animal print swim dress or tankini is just as sexy.

Slipping into animal print and slithering on the sand is sultry enough on its own. All you need is red lip tint and a bronzed glow.

Leopard didn’t always have sexy connotations. It used to be seen as tacky. Characters like Fran Drescher and Peggy Bundy come to mind.

Nowadays, however, leopard is seen as fierce, sensual, and mysterious. A woman who wears leopard print is confident, exuberant, and sexy. She does not care what anyone thinks of her.

On the flip side, leopard can have spiritual significance in some cultures. For instance, “leopard has been a long been totem of the Shaman and the medicine people of ancient tribes,” according to The Universe of Symbolism.

OLD HAVANA STYLE

Another trend I’ve been seeing for Spring/Summer 2017 is old Havana style. Little Havana. On my television and in my magazines.

I’m one of those few who still own a television and hasn’t cut her cable cord yet. I’ve come across ads from H&M to Old Navy that have a touch of little Havana.

From floral print dresses to brightly colored Bermuda shorts, spring/summer style is looking a little more loose and relaxed. It’s looking a whole lot colorful too.

Say goodbye to the typical curve-hugging maxi dresses. Floral dresses are front and center this spring and summer.

Coca Cola’s summer 2017 “Share a Coke Icebreaker” ads have a bit of Havana flair.

Ever since Cuba opened its doors up to the U.S., it would make sense that we would finally catch onto their style and flavor. But with Trump closing those doors, this may be something we need to hold onto this summer.

Karl Lagerfeld’s Cuban Chanel 2016/2017 runway show took center stage in May 2016. His collection included plenty of color in mixed prints, classic tweeds, and his one-of-a-kind accessories.

And here’s what you need to know on Havana style, according to High Point Market:

Old Havana encompasses the classic origins of the island’s rich heritage traditions. Cuba’s timeless appearance inspires retro repurposed relics and a refined approach to aged detailing. Reinterpretations of art deco styling in gold and sun bleached hues recall the idyllic pace of island living, giving a fresh take to spring trends. Vintage elements adorn shapes, creating a sense of authenticity through tradition and craft. Old Havana offers a vibrant yet laid back look that finds new inspirations in a rich heritage.

If you can’t afford Chanel, then I would suggest shopping at Old Navy. Their dresses are less than $30, and their shorts are under $20. For looking like a sharp dressed woman (or man) from the early ’60s, you can’t go wrong.

FASHION IMITATING ART

Is it really fashion imitating art when it’s art on its own? According to Refinery29, “ The worlds of art and fashion have always intersected.”

We can thank Twiggy and Andy Warhol for making these worlds collide in such a mod time.

Fashion and art go together like milk and cookies. It’s no shock to see that fashion designers are inspired by artists.

In a world where a Trump administration, Brexit, and uncertainty exist, it’s no wonder why people need escapism.

Fashion provides that escapism more than ever so with fashion brands collaborating with some of the world’s greatest artists.

You don’t even have to be a great artist to express yourself. Some up-and-coming artists have taken notice thanks to top fashion houses and designers.

VIDA is a brand that works with global artists and creators to bring unique pieces “in a socially conscious way,” as seen on HSN and VIDA’s official website.

The runway errs on the avant-garde, as always. Designers have always been inspired by fine art, and want to feature them in their designs, the best way that they can.

Watercolors that evoked Monet’s signature paintings were featured on the Prada Autumn/Winter 2017 fashion show. Meanwhile, Jackson Pollock’s paint-splattered jackets were seen at the Gucci A/W 2016 show.

The Spring 2017 collections made art come to life. Artist Francis Upritchard was the inspiration for Peter Pilotto’s jeweled patches. French graffiti artists Pisco Logik and Vincent Dacquin had tagged pieces in their show at Faith Connexion, according to Vogue.

Not every designer gets to collaborate with an artist. Pierpaolo Piccioli had to do his research on medieval art before his debut show at Valentino. Most of his pieces were inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights.

He was not happy with what he came across in his research. He sounded like he wanted to forget about what he learned.

“I like to know my history, and then forget it,” he told Sarah Mower.

Not all of us can afford high fashion or fine art. But, it’s possible to find art-inspired pieces all around you.

Take VIDA for instance. They make their pieces affordable and available to everyone on HSN. It’s unbelievable how affordable they are because their collection is truly a work of art.

CONCLUSION

At first glance, it may seem like these trends have nothing in common. But, upon further inspection, it seems prints and bright colors are taking over summer.

You may be the type that wants to exude sexuality in a leopard print bikini. Maybe you like to frolic in one at Cannes with a bad boy by your side.

On the other hand, you may want to bring the style of little Havana to your small town.

Or, you’ll want to wear something artist-inspired to the art museum this summer.

I want to hear your musings. What are your thoughts on the leopard print bikini? Do you own one? Would you even wear one?

Have you noticed touches of old Havana in fashion and marketing, in general? Do you think art inspires fashion, or the other way around?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Sound off below.

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