Monkeying Around

The Chinese New Year begins on February 8th and according to the Chinese Calendar, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. If you’re born in a year of the Monkey, (1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016) you’re a Monkey. So I guess that qualifies fashion designers Roberto Cavalli (1944), Barbara Bui, (1956), and Zac Posen (1980).

FYI, Monkey years are believed to be unlucky for those born in a year of the Monkey (“everything points to disaster”), However, it IS possible to turn misfortune to fortune by seeking the blessing of lucky stars. If you want to find out more, click here.

Considering that the fashion world has seen its share of monkey business (and has its share of monkeying around), it’s rather fitting that these curious, mischievous primates have periodically served as inspiration for designers, some of whom have incorporated their images within their lines.

Who could forget Miuccia Prada’s bold and colorful Spring 2011 ready-to-wear collection, which was replete with monkey motifs (Miuccia even went ‘ape’ for bananas). In fact, several of these designs were included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition, “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”. One of the pieces, a white top embroidered with a monkey (seen above), $1,645, is currently for sale on click here.

When I continued the search on this website (which is one of my favorites I might add), I found a number of interesting monkey related items that are perfect if you would like to celebrate this season:

2001 Arrrgh Monsters in Fashion A-POC Monkey Top by Issey Miyake & Dai Fujiwara $14,999:

Click here for more information

Judith Lieber Full Bead Brown & Tan Crystal See No Evil Monkey Minaudiere Bag $1410:

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Roberta Balsamo Etno chic bag:

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Iconic Whimsical David Webb Enamel Diamond Ruby Gold Platinum Monkey Brooch Pin, price upon request

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Robin Kahn Massive Figural diamante monkey brooch, $275:

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Diamond and gold monkey cufflinks, $4600:

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Albert Watson’s photograph “Monkey with Mask”, price upon request

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American Art Deco Monkey Lamp, 1940, $750

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Clare Scott-Taggart sculpture, “Monkey 2: Whatever I’m Reaching For”, 2015, $8300

Click here for more information

By the way, the 62nd Winter Antiques Show ( opens on Friday and runs through January 31, (I can’t think of a better way to spend a snowy weekend afternoon). The Opening Night Party, (with proceeds going to the East Side House Settlement) is on to

night. 1stdibs is once again, a design sponsor. To see their collection click here.

– Marilyn Kirschner


Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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