Schiaparelli unveiled its Spring 2023 Haute Couture collection on Monday at Paris Fashion Week, which saw Kylie Jenner, Irina Shayk, Naomi Campbell, Shalom Harlow, and more stir up conversation after taking the runway in heavily animal-inspired, non-animal-sourced looks.
Jenner and Shayk both sported black dresses featuring a faux lion head, while Campbell debuted a fur coat dress with a wolf head attached to the shoulder; Harlow’s piece featured a fake snow leopard head. The designs were made out of faux fur, foam, and resin, as Schiaparelli’s creative director Daniel Roseberry told Women’s Wear Daily.
“I didn’t want it to be literal at all: we’re not going into the nine circles of hell and meeting Satan at the end. That’s not the point,” Roseberry shared. “But the point was really Dante himself and this story about trial, tribulation, doubt, and that you have to experience all of that in order to get to paradise.”
An Instagram post by the brand reads, “The leopard, the lion, and the she-wolf—representing lust, pride, and avarice in Dante’s iconic allegory—in hand sculpted foam, resin, wool and silk faux fur, hand painted to look as life-like as possible.” Then, in all capitals, “No animals were harmed in making this look.”
PETA took no issue, with president Ingrid Newkirk sharing a statement defending the collection. “Kylie, Naomi, and Irina’s looks celebrate the beauty of wild animals and may be a statement against trophy hunting, in which lions and wolves are torn apart to satisfy human egotism,” Newkirk said.
Various observers took to social media to blast Schiaparelli and the celebs for the designs, while some were merely there to make jokes. Model/actress Christie Brinkley called the dresses “sickening” and a “fashion faux paw” on Instagram. “It looks as though the models picked up the cruel hunters carpet and severed head wrapped them around themselves to be viewed as a stylish thing of beauty…pelts are a symbol of human’s cruelty and ignorance,” she wrote.
See more reactions below.
Shayk weighed in on her own IG, writing, “I support these incredible artists who worked tirelessly, with their hands, using wool, silk, and foam, to sculpt this embroidered Lion, and image of Pride, An image that [Schiaparelli] invokes while exploring themes of strength. I am honored to have been called on as well to lend my art as a woman to this.”
Doja Cat made waves for non-animal-involved reasons, donning 30,000 Swarovski crystals, painstakingly applied by hand. Per an Instagram caption from the brand, she also wore a “red silk faille bustier, hand-knit skirt of lacquered wooden beads, [and] trompe l’œil toe boots.”