Though the fashion world may at times be catty - All those fights over who sits in the front row at the shows! The perennial ''fashion victim'' lists! - it's arguably never been more so than it is now.
Because this season, designers across the globe have made felines the latest fashion trend.
Victoria Beckham plastered a white cartoonish cat across a red crepe de chine tunic from her Spring/Summer 2012 range and Melbourne-based designer Lisa Gorman has a black-and-white cheetah trotting across a skirt, dress and top in her latest collection.
There's also a new range of swimsuits from Brisbane-based label We Are Handsome featuring a roaring snow leopard, a new Donna Wilson knit cushion in the shape of a tabby cat, and a snow-white jumper featuring a cat's face, out this month by cult American brand Opening Ceremony in collaboration with Glamour magazine.
Why felines? And why now?
We Are Handsome co-designer Jeremy Jules Somers says it might be a populist move, because everyone simply loves cats.
''You show me a person on the street who you show a picture of a lion or a tiger, and they go 'Nah, not for me'. There's something about them that resonates with [everyone]. They're so regal and they sort of command attention, and they're also very beautiful.''
Other designers cite personal reasons for their own contribution to the cat-chic trend.
Victoria Beckham has said that her print was inspired by an unrequited longing. ''I want a cat but David won't let me have one; he doesn't want them bringing mice into the house,'' she told The Guardian recently. ''He's a dog person.''
But why is it that certain animals enjoy a sartorial moment championed by marquee names at any given time - singer Katy Perry wore Beckham's cat dress to promote her recent appearance on Saturday Night Live - while others (like, says, pigs or cows) are left to snuffle around their traditional habitats (like kiddie clothes and Royal Dalton plates)?
After all, this isn't the first time an animal-of-the-moment has taken the fashion and design world by storm.
Two years ago it was the fox that was splashed on everything from greeting cards to lamps and jumpers, and in 2006 the squirrel was it, slapped on everything from a Fendi brooch to DSquared jeans. Before them, butterflies, owls and deers each had a moment in the sun.
''It's funny how there's sort of a group consciousness floating around that no one's really aware of until it precipitates [a trend],'' says Lisa Gorman, whose cheetah print came about after she designed a print that ''looked mountainous but needed another layer of interest''.
''Sometimes you see it, and get feelings for it [certain animals or graphics] but you don't remember where they were from. [And there's] an accumulation of seeing or getting inspiration a few times before it compounds enough for you to go, 'I like that; that's the direction I want to work in'.''
Gorman's not wrong about the fact that cats started seeping into the fashion ether a year or so ago.
Star shoe maker Christian Louboutin put out a caramel-coloured lion shoe - complete with a paw-shaped toe - last year. And We Are Handsome has put out swimsuits with big cats splashed across them for the last two and a half years, earning its first big media hit in 2010 when singer Rihanna was snapped wearing the ''Amazon'' one-piece, which featured a roaring lionesse.
Also, it's just possible that the trend might reflect a concern that the fashion industry is becoming - yes - too catty.
As movie star Jessica Alba told the NY Daily News this month, she chose her latest stylist, reality television star Brad Goreski, almost purely because he isn't bitchy.
"I like someone who's not, like, catty,'' said Alba. ''Not a bad thing comes out of his mouth about anyone.
''In fashion, people tend to be competitive. They start saying nasty things and I don't want that energy around me or my children.''