The outside world may be white, bleak and chilly, but things have got white, witty and a little bit cosy on the AnOther Loves stream, with an outright victory for this mottoed Brian Lichtenberg FÉLINE sweatshirt chosen by Lucia Davies, creative digital manager at MAD London. While riffing off the eternally chic logo of fashion house CÉLINE, this jumper is also a celebration of what has proved to be one of the 21st century’s greatest obsessions – given their dominant presence on the internet – the human race’s awe of and adoration for cats.
It is of course an old, old story, as over the centuries different cultures and faith systems have regarded the cat as a beast of both good and ill omen, a disparity explicable due to the combination of the gentle and the sinister in the creature’s appearance. The cat-goddess Bastet was worshipped in Ancient Egypt as the guardian and benefactress of mankind, while in the Buddhist tradition, cats, along with snakes, are blamed for being the only animals left unmoved by the death of the Buddha. Today we are no less in thrall to the cult of the cat, with YouTube views for the likes of the Keyboard Cat, Surprised Kitty and Maru, the Japan-based Scottish Fold, stretching into the multiple millions. There seems to be an ever-hungry audience for the cat, one that stretches into fashion – they have featured not just on jumpers but in a number of iconic campaigns – architecture, in the form of a cat-shaped school and even pool design.
"Over the centuries, different cultures and faith systems have regarded the cat as a beast of both good and ill omen, a disparity explicable due to the combination of the gentle and the sinister in the creature’s appearance"
Here we speak to Davies about her reasons for picking this sweatshirt, and whether she is true to the cat cause, or if, in fact, she is bucking the trend with a preference for the canine.
Why did you choose to love this jumper?
I am a big jumper fan – most days you will find me in one of my many dark-coloured cashmere or knit varieties – and there is also nothing quite like a bit of fashion wordplay.
What would you wear it with?
I'd balance out the street wear feel of this jumper with a smart cigarette pant, heeled boots and a classic straight cut coat. I also like dressing up casual wear with statement jewellery pieces – for S/S13 I love Givenchy's gold rings, Repossi's ear cuffs and, as always, anything from Dominic Jones' collection.
If you could have anything, what motto would you have inscribed on a sweater?
There are a lot of good mottos out there but most are too pretentious or rude for a sweater. If it fitted on a jumper I'd love to see the saying "Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn". Or I quite like humorous slogan: "Too dumb for New York too ugly for LA" which was on a t-shirt I posted on AnOther Loves a while ago.
What's your favourite designer logo and why?
Chanel's double C has a timelessness and understated elegance just like the French house's creations.
Are you all feline, or do you prefer canine?
I am actually more of a dog lover although I would like to kidnap (or should that be catnap) my friend's Exotic Shorthair Persian.
What was the best present you got for Christmas?
It's a toss up between two very different presents: a beautiful vintage Claddagh ring and tickets to see the 40-mile views from the Shard.
What are you most looking forward to about 2013?
Work-wise, I'm looking forward to some really exciting and inspiring fashion campaigns I've been working on that launch this Spring. Watch this space.
Text by Tish Wrigley