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Trend Watch: Animal Instinct

You could be forgiven for glancing at the title of this post and thinking, “Yeah, yeah, Animal Instinct as in leopard print jackets and zebra print bags — that’s so 2008, Flavorpill, move on.” Whilst this would be a totally fair assessment (and any style website that tries to tell you that faux-fur print is in need only look at Anna Wintour’s 60 Minutes interview for further clarification), this is not what we mean by Animal Instinct. Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for the culmination of at least five years of pet abuse: the advent of the canine fashion show.

That’s right, this week is Pet Fashion Week in Moscow. Sad you’ve missed out on all the animal antics? Not to worry, New York will be hosting their very own event dedicated to canines in clothing this August. FIT students are being encouraged to submit a crystal embellished design fit for a canine king (evidently, they didn’t get our memo that bling is officially out).

Since when did animals need not only clothes, but glitzy collars, leashes and even painted nails?  Confused as to how our otherwise cultured civilization got mired in this abyss of poor taste? Never fear, we’ve compiled a time-line of animal behavior to ease your fashion pain and so you know exactly who to blame.

2004: Already established on the celebrity scene, Paris Hilton introduces us to the now renowned Tinkerbell, for whom she authored the modern-classic The Tinkerbell Diaries. The pooch also inspired her to design a clothing line. In pet fashion terms, this decision was akin to the shooting of Franz Ferdinand. The carnage begins.

2005: Jessica Simpson is the next celebrity to take to the trend, parading her pooch around in a Louis Vuitton dog carrier that may or may not cost more than your mortgage.

2007: Juicy Couture, purveyors of what was then uber-trendy sweats, launches their dog accessories line, allowing pets and their owners to match in pink terry and “diamond” jewelry. Celebs and 14-year-old girls are delighted; the rest of us are horrified.

2009: Roberto Cavalli follows suit, designing a range of clothing and accessories for dogs, while Dolce and Gabanna up the stakes with a new dog bag. Burberry ‘s simple check dogcoat seems positively outmoded, and even the hipsters are doing it: American Apparel’s new line of vests, leashes and collars mean that you and your dog can walk down Bedford Avenue sporting the same organic cotton and nonchalant gaze.

What’s next? God only knows. As far as we’re concerned, we’re not sure if it’s much better for animals to wear human threads than it is for humans to wear animal threads. Things seem to be going from bad to worse — perhaps we’ve reached the nadir with these Dog Grillz? What are your predictions for the future of dog fashion?

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