Are we having a “cat” moment?

It’s not our first. Our fascination with cats has a long history – to wit Egyptians had a religion that centered on the worship of animals, including cats. The Goddess Mafdet, the deification of justice and execution, was a lion-headed goddess while the Goddess Bast, also a cat-goddess, represented fertility and motherhood. The middle ages brought the belief that cats, the familiars of witches, held mysterious and oft feared powers. Many of those beliefs and superstitions persist to present day.

Fast forward to recent times and our pop culture has produced Morris, Felix the Cat, Puss in Boots, Sylvester, Cat in the Hat, Garfield, Pink Panther, Snagglepuss, Hello Kitty, Cat Woman – the list seems endless. Is it any wonder that feline style has crept and leapt into fashion?

Giovanna Battaglia via Team Peter Stigter and Kirstin via Fashion Toast

The ubiquitous cat print reappears with each season, this year being embraced in a layered approach in different size patterns – if you will, a mixed breed (a cat print handbag, legging and a leopard print bootie proving there is no such thing as excess).

There is also the wing-tipped application of eyeliner that evokes a seductive feline appearance.

But what seems particularly fresh is the return of the kitten heel and cat-eye glasses. After several seasons of aggressive booties, gladiator stilettos, towering platforms and plenty of hardware, the demure kitten heel has stepped into the scene.

Classic kittens in pumps, mules and slingbacks have strong representation. What’s new this time around is the addition of styles with layers of texture and embellishment paired with a rounded toe. Good examples are Vuitton, Prada, Mui Mui and Marni.

And the upturned, retro shape of a cat-eye lens is a welcomed contrast to the face-concealing, saucer eyewear of recent seasons. Found at every price point and small lenses to more dramatic interpretations (see Prada), incorporating this accessory is an easy way to adopt this latest fixation on all things cat.

And to finish with a little entertainment of the cat persuasion… direct your attention to the Catorialist to find your fave international cat on the streets … a riff on the Sartorialist. Meow!

Prada and Gile’s Deacon’s, both Spring 2010