The Haute Couture shows have well and truly kicked off in Paris where those who were already in the city for the latest menswear offerings have seen a significant gear shift consisting of gold, sequins and life-size lion heads. Yes, you read that right.
At Daniel Roseberry’s spring 2023 Haute Couture collection for Schiaparelli, models walked the runway complete with wildlife additions, such as the large snow leopard head on the front of Shalom Harlow’s gown and the wolf head on the shoulder of Naomi Campbell’s oversized black coat.
But the most statement of all was the king of the pride, of course, which Irina Shayk modelled down the runway on a black velvet gown, while Kylie Jenner wore the very same dress, featuring a life-size lion head, in the front row.
Naturally, the minute images of Jenner wearing the piece hit the internet, there was an uproar (excuse the pun), with many mistaking the animal additions seen throughout the collection for taxidermy, made of actual dead animals.
“Using dead animal heads as accessories. There is something terribly wrong with this,” one person wrote on Twitter, while others believed the looks were promoting lion poaching or trophy hunting.
Jenner quickly took to Instagram to clarify that the lion head isn’t real, confirming it’s made of manmade materials in her caption, which reads, “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. thank you @danielroseberry and @schiaparelli for such a special morning. Wow i loved wearing this faux art creation constructed by hand using manmade materials. beautiful beautiful 🦁🦁🏻”
In the show notes found on guests’ seats, Roseberry explained the inspiration behind the wildlife inclusions of his collection, revealing he was influenced by Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century work The Divine Comedy. The designer was particularly struck by “the leopard, the lion, and the she-wolf—representing lust, pride, and avarice” in the poet’s first book, Inferno, prompting him to create the “faux-taxidermy creations” seen on the runway to celebrate “the glory of nature and guarding the woman who wears it.”