Fashion’s year of the monkey

Why the monkey is spring’s key print. By Baya Simons

From left: Valentino; Erdem
From left: Valentino; Erdem | Image: William Luz

This season, designers looked to the jungle for inspiration. Catwalks were flanked by palm trees, prints were lush and leafy, and embellishments came in the form of birds of paradise and tropical flowers. Among these, one recurring motif stood out: the monkey. At Valentino, black and red primates climbed an oversized poloneck, while a monochrome sweater dress was adorned with a lifesize monkey reminiscent of French artist Henri Rousseau’s paintings. At Bottega Veneta, they sat in majestic profile on silk halternecks in monochrome and electric blue, while at Burberry, symmetrical black-and-white monkey prints appeared on shirts and underneath the black lace of a ruffled dress. Whether a nod to the Chinese symbol for good luck and prosperity for the new decade or a symbol of our proximity to the natural world, the monkey is a fitting figure for 2020.

From left: Burberry; Bottega Veneta
From left: Burberry; Bottega Veneta | Image: Alessandro Lucioni/Gorunway. William Luz


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