From cat fashion to cat-inspired art and cosmetics, 2012 was the year of the feline. Whether I convinced you to wear cat ear headbands or order cat tees for charity — or hang up a not-so-ugly kitty print on your walls — here are my 10 favorite moments that helped define the year in cat chic.
Cats don’t need cosmetics because they’re naturally beautiful, but in January, Paul & Joe Beaute released a new kitty-themed makeup collection for the rest of us who need a little extra help.
The Paris-based brand celebrated its 10th anniversary with a line that included feline-embossed face and eye palettes, paw print lipsticks, and creamy blusher sticks sculpted to look like top-hat-wearing kitties.
There were also pretty polishes to paint your claws, a pressed powder compact covered with kitties inside and out, and a waterproof gel eyeliner to help you get the perfect cat’s-eye look, every time.
In February, Target let the cat out of the bag on its latest designer collection from Jason Wu. The line, which was influenced by French New Wave cinema, also paid tribute to Jason’s muse, a kitty named Milu.
When it comes to four-legged fashions, why should canines have all the fun?
It used to be that all of the cute, cool clothing for pets came in pup-only sizes, but in the past few years, a clowder of cat fashion designers has emerged to give your feline fashionista the chance to express herself like never before. I rounded up a list of 10 of my favorite feline fashion designers, who give new meaning to the term “cat chic.”
Lulu Guinness had quite a catty year. First, the British accessories designer released a bold line of cat-inspired rain gear, totes, mini coin purses, and keyrings featuring her signature Kooky Cats. Then in May, she collaborated with Japanese retailer UNIQLO on a collection of limited-edition T-shirts.
Guinness herself met with fans at the Oxford Street UNIQLO store in London to help celebrate the launch, where guests enjoyed sweet treats and cocktails while shopping the cat-heavy line of fashionable tops.
Being a fashionable cat lady doesn’t have to mean cat dresses and kitten heels all the time! Sometimes you’ve got to give your aching puppies a rest. The Bradford Exchange (which is apparently making a lot more than collectible plates these days) was on the case with a pair of casual kitty footwear for ailurophiles of all ages.
The Kitten Capers Women’s Canvas Sneakers feature “adorable kitten art by internationally famed artist J├╝rgen Scholz,” and even come with sculptural metal kitten charms, because Ceiling Cat knows that cat owners love shiny, dangling objects as much as their kitties do.
Wearing cat ears used to be reserved for Halloween, but this year we took them out of the closet and turned them into a year-round fashion trend.
Everybody wants to be a cat, and artificial ears are just the latest way to get us one paw closer to achieving our dreams. Tacky, trendy, or best reserved for the end of October? You spoke, and the results were a resounding two paws up!
I was immediately drawn to artist Ola Liola’s watercolor illustrations because of their intricate designs and eye-catching color combinations.
It’s not unusual to see a whole new world inside of her expertly drawn animals, which begin as ordinary cats and are then transformed by a brilliant layer of butterflylike skin.
Illustrator Ella Goodwin is obsessed with all things cat, and even has an entire Etsy shop full of creations starring her Percy the cat illustration. Based on the designer’s feline fixation, it should come as no surprise that when it was time for her to walk down the aisle, she channeled her catty creativity into a custom, handmade kitty-print wedding dress.
The bride used Smitten Kittens fabric to create the look, and added hot pink tulle underneath as an accent. The ensemble was finished off with a beautiful floral headpiece, and animal-print ballet flats that coordinated purrfectly with her hubby Gary’s cheetah suit!
Cat Tee Mission founder Sarah Menzies has always felt a special bond with cats, and strives to do everything in her power to help them. She created Cat Tee Mission as a way of raising money for rescue, while also promoting an important message.
In addition to receiving a cool T-shirt, donors also help spread the word about cat welfare by wearing her feline-conscious designs. Sarah donates all the proceeds from the sales of her shirts to cat charities around the world, and hopes that her efforts will help change the lives of cats everywhere.
Internet sensations such as Lil Bub prove that different can be adorable, and another feline who demonstrates that all cats are beautiful is Quasi from My Ugly Kitty.
The cat, who is anything but ugly, was adopted from a shelter in 2005. Her unique appearance is thought to be the result of a cleft lip that never got corrected and connects to her eye.
Quasi’s owner, Renee, started the My Ugly Kitty Etsy shop in 2006, where she sells Quasi prints, along with other non-cat-related crafty creations. Shortly after opening the store, she also decided to start the Original Ugly Kitty Fund, to help raise money for shelter cats in need.