Who doesn’t fall for chic-year-round, sensational tiger stripes? Inspired by the untamed, this wild-meets-glam print excites imagination, ignites creativity, stimulates inner strengths and inflames instincts. Infused with vibrant shades or balanced with monochromatic pieces, it delivers a confident, graphic pop and decadent flair, perfect for a girls’ night out or a visit in an art gallery. It’s hard to believe that there are only slightly over 3000 tigers living in the wild today, all of them in Asia.
So where in a big US city do you look for “the eye of the tiger”?
The zoo, of course. And, that’s where I took a feline stroll in search of my wild inspiration: the Philadelphia Zoo.
The Big Cat area is one of the most popular spots in the whole zoo, so I was a bit concerned about how to attract the tiger’s attention among so many visually stimulating preys. The tiger stripes are arresting and fascinate everybody, so I thought I would go “tiger” myself to lure the wildcat. But would a tiger be intrigued by a two-pawed animal with a long blond mane that wears stripes of his own? I had to give it a try.
So, I donned this Michael Kors Belted Studded Zip Front shirtdress and Kami Ankle Strap wedges, all perfectly matching my stunning Michael Kors Hamilton Pick Stitch Studded Canvas Tote in Tiger Canvas.
This stretch-knit dress is equal parts chic and sporty: call it “casual glam” and enter a new territory where the crux of the look is a concoction of luxurious, exotic pattern and soft, satiny fabric combined with hardness of solid leather belt and front zipper. Dark brown stripes blend with the tiger pattern of the handbag. The shiny goldtone studs are a bigger variant of the studs on the tote. The versatility of the dress allows for an effortless transformation from a weekend outfit you wear on your getaway trip to a snazzy attire for a Broadway premiere. You pick!
I paced back and forth in front of a glass wall that divides the visitors from the miniature version of safari land, trying to engage tiger’s interest and hoping he will consider me appealing enough to approach. In vain.
Instead, I instantly attracted the onlookers’ attention: some stared at me with curiosity, some were annoyed that I was obstructing the view. The tigers ignored them all. After about half an hour of anxious waiting and efforts to seduce the cat and snap the best shot, the tiger did something unexpected yet so much awaited. Intrigued, bored or irritated (only the tiger knows), he started moving in my direction and suddenly roared at my sight. Everybody gasped with amazement. And, that’s how I met the eye of Dimitri – a male Amur tiger.
Amur tigers are the biggest cats in the world and can be found in the restricted forestial areas of Russian Far East, borders of China and North Korea. There are only 400 of them left. Illegal logging and poaching put tigers on the endangered species list. In the 1940s, there were only 40 Amur tigers left in the wild.
After Russia granted the tiger full protection and thanks to the antipoaching actions by WWF and other organizations, the tiger population increased, but remains at risk.
You can help! Take action, sign the petition and support the full implementation of the 2008 Lacey amendments fighting the illegal timber market and protecting tiger habitats. You can also choose a symbolic tiger adoption and receive a plush tiger kit – a special Christmas gift for your child.
After I waved goodbye to Dimitri, I headed over to have a little ‘stripe-spot’ chat with my girls, Stella and Abby. Obviously jealous of my tiger jewelry and bag, the giraffes started gossiping behind my back, ostentatiously displaying their spots. How impertinent!
They must have noticed “the eye of the tiger” looking at them eagerly from my rings (Aldo, similar, similar, similar) and they couldn’t keep eyes off my Monet necklace, earring and bracelet set (JCPenny, similar, similar, similar) featuring the marvelous tortoise-like stones set in a rich gold tone framing. The simulated tortoise looks remarkable against the brown stripes and goldtone studs on the dress, adding a definitive glam accent to the look.
The Michael Kors Rose Gold-Tone Runway Mother-of Pearl Glitz watch delivers sparkling luxury with its stunning deep brown iridescent face, glistening crystals at the bezel and gorgeous rosé links.
We exchanged a few “oohs and ahhs” and then I left the giraffes and walked to meet other inhabitants of the animal kingdom. I stopped by Bear Country – land of gushing waterfalls and babbling brooks where the only bear I saw was a fountain sculpture; all the bears must have been sleeping.
I was very pleased with my tiger ankle strap wedges. Not only they match perfectly my bag and dress but are so undeniably comfortable that my feet didn’t even feel all the miles of wandering across the zoo continents. Crisscross tiger canvas straps at vamp, rope-wrapped platform and metal MK logo at the heel, make these sandals a stylish statement that reflects the perfect balance between casual comfort and modish look.
After a short break, I paid a visit to Laura and Susie – two zebras that totally understood my fancy for stripes. However, they tried to convince me that zebra stripes are way trendier than a tiger’s. Imagine!? But, they both agreed that my tiger outfit is dangerously striking and, though they absolutely loved it, they will keep their distance.
On my way back, I bumped into Tony, a Southern White Rhino, that had a rough day and was not particularly excited about meeting a tiger. Nevertheless, he approved of my choice of textures.
It was an inspiring wild day at the Philadelphia Zoo – realm of stripes, patterns and spots in different shades and configurations that provide a great visual stimulus to trigger creativity. I met “the eye of the tiger” and got the validation of my look. I left sparkled with new ideas and ready for another fashion challenge. So what’s next? Be ready to get struck again!
Many thanks to Michelle Alton and her friend Bill for all your help and great company!