Great Outfits in Fashion History: Harry Styles in Leopard-Print Burberry

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Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In ‘Great Outfits in Fashion History,’ Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.

In my day, I have seen many a well-dressed celebrity perched upon many a front row at many a fashion show across the globe. But there has never been a celebrity FROW moment which has stuck with me the way seeing Harry Styles at Burberry’s Spring 2014 runway has, all these years later.

[extremely Sophia Petrillo from “Golden Girls” voice] Picture it: London, September 2013. The smash-hit documentary “This Is Us” – which had director Morgan Spurlock following boy-band sensation One Direction around their sold-out “Take Me Home” world tour – had been released to blockbuster numbers mere weeks prior. The group’s stellar third album, “Midnight Memories,” was still a few months away from its November release, but was highly anticipated given the strength of its fun first single, “Best Song Ever.” It’s fair to say that Mr. Styles had never been more in-demand.

Thankfully, there was a break between the North American and Oceanic legs of the aforementioned tour, leaving Styles with just enough time to pop by a little fashion show by a small British brand named Burberry. (Heard of it?) It was then still under Christopher Bailey’s English Rose-centric vision. And before #Harry4Gucci was even a dream in Fashionista’s heart, Styles regularly chose the house to outfit him for big occasions, and had been at its Spring 2013 show a year prior. For this particular London Fashion Week appearance, Styles went for a leopard print shirt, which popped against his distressed jeans, trusty Chelsea boots and tailored overcoat.

An extra frisson of buzz was in the air on that September day in Kensington Gardens, as Styles was rumored to be dating Burberry mainstay Cara Delevingne at the time. (Delevingne would make a memorable Burberry front-row moment of her own a few years later, with then-girlfriend St. Vincent, but that’s another story – and another series of Great Outfits – for another day.) But photographers would be denied a coveted snap of Styles eyeing the supermodel during her turn on the catwalk. What they would receive instead is something I consider a gift to this day.

Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

As the models streamed out for the finale, a shower of rose petals fell from the ceiling onto the runway, lightly landing in Styles’s perfectly-tousled hair. In many photos of the moment, he looks like the cat that ate the canary, perched as he was between Sienna Miller and Suki Waterhouse. He’s also clearly chewing gum in a manner that would be deeply upsetting to my misophonia but hey, no one is perfect.

Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images

Granted, I didn’t see any of this in person. ( Dhani was there, though, and I’m 99% sure I grilled her on every second of it.) Still, those images of Styles – tanned from vacation, with rose petals still lingering in his hair, mega-watt grin on his face and all – have been permanently burned into my brain. I simply do not think it was a coincidence that he went on to win the British Style Award that December.

Styles’s original (unwashed!) leopard Burberry tee may have sold at a charity auction for £3,002 – I must insist that I was not the buyer – but luckily, it’s a print that never goes out of style. Shop Styles-inspired leopard print pieces in the gallery below:

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