Controversy at Paris Fashion Week: Schiaparelli’s Animal Head Designs Spark Debate

By Lindelwa Masuku

Paris Fashion Week has once again come with its controversies, this time involving Schiaparelli and their use of ultra-realistic animal heads on their runway designs.

Carrie Johnson, an animal rights campaigner and wife of former prime minister Boris Johnson, accuses Schiaparelli of promoting trophy hunting with their designs. However, PETA, an animal rights charity, has offered surprise support for the designs.

The gown in question, which was worn by Kylie Jenner, featured a fake lion's head and prompted accusations of promoting animal cruelty and glamorizing trophy hunting. 

A nearly identical version of the dress was later modeled on the runway by Irina Shayk. Dresses featuring a faux-taxidermy snow leopard and a wolf modeled by Naomi Campbell were also seen in the show.

Schiaparelli has defended the designs, stating that no animals were harmed in the making of the dress. They posted a video of Jenner on Instagram, detailing the materials used to make the lion: "Hand sculpted foam, wool and silk faux fur... hand painted to look as life-like as possible."

The brand added in capital letters: "NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN MAKING THIS LOOK."
Despite Schiaparelli's defense, many people expressed their distaste with the designs on the brand's Instagram page.

One commenter wrote: "No matter how you justify it to your models and celebrities - the faux animal couture is a huge problem with implications you don't understand... Even though NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED the concept promotes wearing animals for fashion and a disgusting out of touch mentality the elite continue to suffer from."

Another comment, which received thousands of likes, said: "We have to stop showing animals as luxury 'products'. They may be made from foam, but these are endangered species that have historically been killed for their pelts to be turned into garments."

However, there were also those who came to the brand's defense, with some saying the designs were art and were purposefully provocative. One person wrote: "The whole point of haute couture is to be an art performance, a concept, shown on a person. It's art, and the concept here is Dante's inferno."'

It's worth noting that Schiaparelli is not Balenciaga, a brand that creates hoodies and sneakers for the mass market. Schiaparelli focuses on flashy runway shows, handmade apparel that celebrities wear on the red carpet, and ultra-exclusive creations created for deep-pocketed clientele alone. 

So, perhaps Schiaparelli figured it exists above the social media scrum that tore Balenciaga apart.

In conclusion, Schiaparelli's use of animal heads on their designs at Paris Fashion Week has sparked controversy and debate among the public. 

While Schiaparelli defends the designs, stating that no animals were harmed in the making of the dress, many people have expressed their distaste with the designs and the concept of wearing animals for fashion. 

On the other hand, some have come to the brand's defense, claiming that the designs are art and were purposefully provocative. 

As with any fashion controversy, it's up to the public to decide what they believe is right and wrong.

Article Tags

Fashion Ethics

Paris Fashion Week

Kylie Jenner


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