As with anything when it comes to Rihanna, Bad Gal RiRi does it, and we want to, too. When the singer-cum-mogul was spotted wearing head-to-toe snakeskin (complete with a knit hat) at Coachella last April, it cemented what we already knew: the reptile pattern is here to stay.
For stylist Kandace Banks, it was a pair of Rochas yellow knee-high snakeskin boots that made her fall in love with the trend. “Last spring, when I did an internship with [stylist] Shiona Turini,” Banks tells Refinery29. “I created a very detailed trend report for fall/winter 2018. And sure enough, as soon as the collections started to arrive in stores, I saw snakeskin everywhere.”
Perhaps following Rihanna’s lead, Off-White and Gucci each put snakeskin on their spring 2019 runways, cementing our love for the Slytherin-esque pieces. With so many heavy hitters embracing this iteration of animal print, for Banks, this trend’s takeover was imminent.
Banks eventually bought a version of the boots at Mango and coordinated a photoshoot with her friends, each of them wearing the print. “I love wearing the trend, because I see it as a neutral that is often overlooked,” she explains. The way she sees it, snakeskin can be a statement if it’s done in a bold color (think those yellow python boots) – but when it’s in a black and white colorway, the print can be mixed and matched with anything. To illustrate her point, Banks styled the following photoshoot using affordable brands.
Ahead, she offers tips for wearing the print and making it your own.
Jamila is wearing a Topshop coat, ASOS shirt, Uniqlo pants, with Aldo boots. Maya is wearing an ASOS shirt and Zara pants with Vince shoes.
“I wore my blazer by itself as a dress, but you can definitely throw on a sleek turtleneck and pants with it, wearing it as an oversized blazer for the office.” Banks also suggests wearing a printed silk button-up with trousers or snakeskin slacks with a solid-colored blouse for an office-ready look.
Kandace is wearing a Zara blazer and belt with Mango boots.
When it comes to wearing snakeskin for a night out, Banks says opt for a familiar silhouette in the print, like bodycon or leggings. “If you’re feeling brave, you could wear your snakeskin work blazer as a dress with nothing under but your thigh-high boots.”
Kandace (on the left) is wearing a a Zara blazer and belt with Mango boots. Nana (on the right) is wearing a Zara shirt and skirt with Marc Fisher boots.
Jamila is wearing a Topshop coat, ASOS shirt, Uniqlo pants, with Aldo boots; Maya is wearing an ASOS shirt and Zara pants with Vince shoes; Nana is wearing a Zara shirt and skirt with Marc Fisher boots; Kandace is wearing a a Zara blazer and belt with Mango boots.
“Just have fun,” Banks says. Being open to wearing snakeskin is the most important step. “You can’t go wrong, whether you chose to wear a blazer, trousers, a blouse, or just an accessory,” she notes, adding that the print works with all body types. “All it takes is you being confident enough to wear it.”
Nana is wearing a Zara shirt and skirt with Marc Fisher boots.
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