Through the ages, images of snakes have been used by man to symbolize temptation, danger, power, longevity and more. Serpents have inspired our jewelry and apparel since ancient times. The tradition of snake as design muse continues this spring as serpents join birds, bugs and flowers as a favorite adornment for clothing and accessories.
The exotic patterns and colors of snakeskin are now a classic look for bags and shoes, but many of this year's offerings go a step further and feature the actual image of the reptile.
For its spring 2012 collection, the French fashion house Lanvin featured jewel-encrusted snakes coiled across the shoulders of body-hugging dresses and graphic images of green serpents traveling up sheer pants and tops.
To accessorize summer outfits, designer Kelly Wearstler's resort-wear collection includes a scarf featuring a custom pattern of slithering snakes across a charcoal-colored background.
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And with its sensuous lines, it's no wonder the snake has influenced jewelry designs for centuries. Current styles include an edgy pendant necklace from Alexander McQueen with a miniature, jeweled human skull resting in the open mouth of a gold snakehead.
From Kenneth Jay Lane, deco-inspired costume jewelry includes hinged snake cuffs covered in green crystals and sensuous gold serpent rings.
And for stylish parents who'd like their children to try the trend, British apparel brand Boden offers a playful striped Mini Boden tee with a not-so-scary appliqué cobra.