SNP’s word of the day: Ailurophile

Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Ailurophile

Meaning: cat lover (in the swish Greek lexicon)

Usage: “An ailurophile can’t be curious; she could never kill a cat.” ― a terrible joke I made up

You should know it because: I don’t care what the Chinese calendar says, this was the year of the cat—in fashion, anyway. Cat-eye sunglasses (a la Alexander Wang) were a major thing for spring; for fall, it’s meow about Givenchy‘s kitten ears and Maison Michel‘s cat hats. United Bamboo‘s 2011 calendar featured 12 super-felines, and a recent issue of Marie Claire China featured Cottonelle-type fluffies in a bonafide high-fashion editorial. The ne plus ultra of this fad? Chanel‘s purrfect fall ad campaign. Whiskers on Freja make me want to rewrite that Sound of Music song…

Fad or no fad, it’s important to remember that cats—vain, aloof, slinky—have always fit in with fashion. The tiny-dog-in-a-Speedy-bag is one fashion stereotype, but it’s not the kind of fashion I subscribe to. I’m way more into Grace Kelly, Andy Warhol, David Bowie, and (favourite of favourites) Grace Coddington: notorious ailurophiles, all.