Nov 05, 2011 12:00AM

Cats vs Dogs in Fashion

The fashion world weighs in on the perennial debate.

Humans have been debating the merits of cats and dogs since way back. The ancient Egyptians were worshiping cats a good two thousand years ago; upper class Brits have been inbreeding their beloved Corgis for centuries. According to a study that really was conducted and, presumably, really did receive some kind of funding, the cat person / dog person dichotomy is a legit anthrozoological phenomenon. "Dog people" are more extroverted and agreeable; "cat people" are more neurotic, but more open to new experiences. When applied to the world of fashion, Anna Della Russo immediately springs to mind as a dog-is-man's-best-friend kinda gal, while the immaculately groomed Tom Ford exhibits certain feline tendencies. Likewise, some designers show pooches puppy love; others are more cature inclined.

Over at the canine camp we have Proenza Schouler designers Jack and Lazaro. When asked what they could not live without both answered, "My dog." The designers have even made two limited-edition dog-inspired keychains. Lazaro's Prague Ratter (Jojo) and Jack's Newfoundland (Buster) sell for $135 over at Prozena Schouler's website.

For AW11, Givenchy designer Richardo Tisci unleashed a Carine Roitfeld endorsed, rottweiler inspired collection. If you've been paying any attention at all to Tommy Ton's street-style dispatches, you'd know that this trend has legs (as well as barred teeth and tails).

Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide in February 2010, loved his three pet dogs so much that he designated 50,000 pounds ($82,000) towards their care in his will. We can't imagine that the canines in question - Minter, Juice, and Callum - are living the ruff life.

Other dog-loving designers include Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier, who jumped on board the choker trend with a series of dog collars, and Mulberry and Opening Ceremony - both have injected a touch of foxiness into their collections (the fox being the dog's not too distant cousin). And let's not even get started on all the fashionable pups out there in the world - this little guy and Kanye West are practically twins in their matching Celine ensembles.

That being said, the fashion feline fixation is force to be reckoned with. United Bamboo put cats on calendars, Miu Miu on prints in Spring 2010, and Lanvin on Kristen McMenamy's lap for its Fall 2009 campaign. AW11 fashion week confirmed what's hot meow with cat hats at cat-versus-dogs-fence-sitter Givenchy and Anna Sui.

Catwoman is Alexander McQueen design assistant Laura Edwards' favourite fashion film moment; Grace Coddington's love of cats inspired a book and care of this kitty fever, grand dame Vivienne Westwood was assaulted with a soft toy version last year when she went to take her bow.

The Catorialist, a spin-off of Scott Schuman's famed blog, details the sartorial exploits of tabbies and toms from Brooklyn to Manhattan, which makes us think that being a crazy cat lady maybe isn't too bad after all.

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