To kick off 2014 and my new monthly dog fashion column for the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals, I want to say hello to the IAPFP community and wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous year. I’m very excited to begin bringing you wonderful, unusual and creative fashion discoveries from the pet world. I’ll be covering designers of merit, pieces I fall in love with and trends happening in pet fashion. So without further adieu, let’s get started with the very first edition of my Pet Fashion Wrap-Up .

It’s sometimes said you can’t move forward without taking a look back, and that’s just what we’ll be doing in this month’s post, What They Wore: Dog Fashionistas of 2013. It was a very mixed bag on the runway last year. And like most years, trend reporting was all over the map. But some definitely stood out and did translate well to the dog fashion arena. Let’s take a look at them:

green crystal dog collar on Bark and Swagger

BB Simon
Olivine Crystal Collar


Emerald Green

Green was almost the new black in 2013. With designers from Vivienne Westwood and Valentino, to Stella McCartney and Michael Kors featuring it in their collections, fashion conscious pet parents looked for ways to have their pups participate. And some savvy designers took note.

green brocade designer dog dress on Bark and Swagger

Tiny Paws Gorgeous
Green Brocade

This is a beautiful example of a BB Simon-designed rich and regal collar. Love the green olivine Swarovski Elements®.


Marvel at this limited-edition green and gold brocade dress from TinyPaws Couture, where the tiered flower bow, which reminds me a bit of the kind of intricate design you’d find on a luxurious obi, catches the eye and the breath.


Pastels, Baby!

It was all about the baby pinks and blues for fall of 2013, and designers rocked it everywhere. Sophie, my little Portuguese Podengo pup, stepped out in her Chanel-inspired Couture by Sophie fall coat, a belted and quilted faux leather number with a bow feature.


baby pink designer dog coat on Bark and Swagger

Couture by Sophie
Pastel Coat

This lovely, whimsical spring dress designed by Fashion Tails Boutique in pastel pink combines a lined shantung silk bodice with a full tulle tutu skirt. The skirt has 3-D butterflies with pearl centers, a lace and pearl waistline and is topped off with a coordinating pink necklace. And, of course, it’s called “Butterfly Baby!”

baby pink designer dog dress on Bark and Swagger

Fashion Tails
Butterfly Baby!

Animal Prints Roared!

A trend that seems to always be in fashion since  is the animal print. Fro a bit of history, the love affair we’ve had with animal prints started in the 40’s. But it was during a honeymoon trip to Japan with Joe DiMaggio, that icon Marilyn Monroe, wearing a leopard scarf, exploded the trend wide open and we’ve never looked back. And in 2013, leopards and zebras ruled!

KO Couture Leopard Harness Dress

KO Couture Leopard
Harness Dress


I love this KO Couture Leopard Feather Dress. It’s a harness dress featuring a soft leopard material for the bodice, a bull skirt of large feathers, tied up in a fashionable black satin bow with a pink rhinestone center for that pop of color. KO Couture designs display a strong eye for color and multimedia designs, mixing different mediums of fabric together for an overall spectacular effect.



ZhaZha Leopard  Bowtie Collar

ZhaZha Leopard
Bowtie Collar

ZhaZha Collars designed this very chic and multi-functional black & white leopard collar. For boys, it can be a bow tie; for girls, a side bow. It’s made from weather durable faux leather and comes with a matching leash. But it’s the oversized bow that says chic.


Metallic Shine

Give me a bit of bling, and you’ve got me. 2013 was the year of the dazzle. Metallics were pumped up to an even greater volume, adorning everything from evening wear and day dresses to t’s and accessories. So why should doggy fashion be any different? And while the bulk of bling in mass market dog wear was limited to collars and the like, the couture designers really stood out here.


Tiny Paws Couture Metallic Beret

Tiny Paws Couture
Metallic Beret

When I discovered this dog beret, I went crazy. It’s the kind of hat easily pictured on a runway show. The credit goes to Tiny Paws Couture for this creation, made from a metallic gold fabric that gives the effect of a crinkled leather. It featured a handmade statement flower, with a wrap of black shimmer tulle and a pearl center. And it has a little elastic chin strap to keep it on the baby. Wow!

This stunner, hand-crafted by Elite PAWtique for New York City Pet Fashion Week, is a show-stopper. Created with an almost dreamy web-like effect, the platinum-colored silk, taffeta and organza fabric combination is over layed with matching flowers and leaves. Each flower has a Swarovski crystal center. A truly one-of-a-kind dress.


Elite PAWtique Stunner

Elite PAWtique Stunner

 Plaids Rule

Plaid and, specifically, tartan plaid was a big trend for 2013. You saw a lot of women bring out the plaid Scottish skirts that may have been in my closet for a few years. And plaid was definitely appropriated for the pups.

Lollypups Cool Plaid Vests

Lollypups Cool
Plaid Vests


I love this fresh take on the fringe poncho, but doggy style. These plaid wool, fringed vests, which were designed in camel, grey and red, are embellished with tiny felt mittens and vintage bells. How original and cool is that?! Kudos to Lollypups, the designer!


Punk Perfection

Following the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the Met, punk couture (I know, an oxymoron,

Orostani Couture Glam Fairy Punk Princess

Orostani Couture
Glam Fairy Punk Princess

right?) became di rigueur again. Wooflinks did a great job with the trend for the mass market. But, we’re not about mass market here.

Olga Yuditsky, designer of Orostani Couture (featured here previously), is a master of original creations, fit and tailoring. Her Glam Fairy Punk Princess dress is just scrumptious. The bodice fabric alone is sheer genius. A high performance magenta and black, fossil foil snakeskin-printed lycra, it is easy to slip on and off the dog and fits like a glove. Add layers of pink, magenta and black tulle skirting, a magenta pink satin rosette feature with a Swarovski Elements® button and, voila!, you have sheer punk perfection!


Chien Coature  Red Leather Punk Vest

Chien Coature
Red Leather Punk Vest

Another of my favorite designers is Chien Coature, who do amazing work with leather, studs, crystals and more. This gorgeous and very punk red Italian leather vest features red Ultrasuede lining and fierce sterling silver and nickel spikes and rounded studding. The workmanship is always beautiful. I love seeing what they’ll come up with next.



Boys For Girls


Another big trend in 2013 was menswear clothing for women with a feminine twist.

Yvette Ruta Designs Metallic Tuxedo Vest

Yvette Ruta Designs
Metallic Tuxedo Vest

Tuxedos, suits, vests, trousers…all made appearances on the runways of many designers. And, while I didn’t see many girl dogs outfitted in tuxedos or suits, there were some tailored vests to be found.

I love this bronze Yvette Ruta creation, with it’s long tails and feature bow for that feminine flair or for the absolutely fabulous boy. Made from a metallic velvet and lined in bronze satin, the ultra chic vest features a crushed oversized velvet bow with bronze braiding and gold sequins. Sounds a bit over the top, but it works!

Leather Glam

Leather ruled the runways for 2013, in pastels for spring and in richer jewel tones and, still pastels, for fall. Cut-out designs in the leather were a big trend,too.

Chien Coature Leather Coat

Chien Coature
Leather Coat

For dogs, Chien Coature designed a stunning and very glamorous iridescent cream Italian lambskin coat, quilted for texture, embellished with Swarovski Elements™ clusters. The lining is a combination of brown floral brocade and cream Ultrasuede. Yum! And the collar is accented with handwoven gold and clean crystals.

 In Summary

2013 was a fun year for fashion. We had many trends to choose from and dog designers mined those trends to create some very distinctive pieces. And, because great trends don’t ever really die (they just get a new twist), we will be seeing more of many of these for 2014. Look forward to seeing you next month, when we’ll have another fierce fashion adventure together!

Until next time…

As a designer of luxury dog apparel under the Couture by Sophie brand (www.couturebysophie.com), Jody Miller-Young brings her love of runway chic to the dog fashion arena. Her debut collection, The Icons, paying homage to fashion icons

Jody Miller-Young writes the monthly 'Pet Fashion Wrap-Up' column for IAPFP

Jody Miller-Young writes the monthly ‘Pet Fashion Wrap-Up’ column for IAPFP

in music, created a small army of Couture by Sophie fans.  Her passion for design and the desire to share her finds with others led her to create Bark and Swagger, the everything- dog-fashion-and-more site (www.barkandswagger.com). On Bark, Miller-Young offers tips, talks trends, writes reviews and conducts interviews with experts of interest in the dog world. She also covers the celebs we know and the dogs they love and devotes a regular column to shelter dogs and to the hero angels who advocate for them.

Jody is excited to share her great discoveries with the International Association of Pet Fashion Professional members!