Schiaparelli SS23 Haute Couture is stirring up controversy this week. The faux-taxidermy patterns draw inspiration from “Dante’s ‘Inferno” – but not everyone gets the reference.

Credit: Marie Claire Australia

Schiaparelli Haute Couture 2023 is a sight to behold. The event has instantly become a topic of hot debate; all kicking off with Kylie Jenner arriving late, and strolling to her front-row spot at the show.

Kylie Jenner at Schiaparelli | Credit: Paper Mag

At the show, Jenner wears a black column gown with a very genuine lion head on her right shoulder. The lion on her dress draws inspiration from Irina Shayk’s runway design. With stitching through the hand-moulded foam, wool and silk faux fur, and some crafty hand-painting, the result is a very realistic-looking lion head.

The head makes an appearance on Kylie Jenner’s right shoulder; to compliment a black column gown. According to the company, the lion on her garment was stitched in hand-sculpted foam, wool and silk fake fur; and hand-painted to seem as lifelike as possible. It comes straight from the same look Irina Shayk would wear on the catwalk.

Opinions largely focus on the idea that these dummy animals promote animal cruelty, which is already true in an industry that still uses genuine fur. Others, on the other hand, praise it as a work of art and a possible step towards a more humane fashion future.


In look 10, Shalom Harlow wore a hand-painted wool and silk bustier with a large snow leopard head sticking out of her breast. Naomi Campbell walked the runway in picture 30 wearing a faux-fur cloak with a big wolf head perched on its left shoulder, while Irina Shayk wore a similar variation of Kendall Jenner’s lion-head creation in look 15. Although the collection contained many intriguing works, the aforementioned groups took centre stage throughout the conversations that followed.

Credit: Manila Bulletin

Jenner provides a thorough explanation of how the work was designed: “I loved wearing this faux art creation constructed by hand using manmade materials.”


When the collection’s taxidermy-like creations hit social media, they are the subject of the newest fashion debate: do Schiaparelli’s lifelike animal heads demonstrate the House’s couture ability, or did Roseberry just go too far?

Roseberry gives some background in the collection notes for the season. The Divine Comedy, a 14th-century poetry by Dante Alighieri divides into three volumes: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. It has 14,233 lines that bring the designer’s looks to life.

The pieces are hand-sculpted from foam, resin, wool, and silk fake fur, are meant to emphasise “the glory of nature.”


Credit: High Snobiety

For all the negative feedback, it’s important to remember that Couture is an art form that places a premium on craftsmanship and innovation. It is an expression of the highest art forms thru fashion, pushing the boundaries of what the medium can become.

Schiaparelli, in particular, routinely turns such concepts on their heads via detail-oriented innovation and a unique perspective on Surrealism.

“Nothing in these clothing looks to be what it appears,”

Roseberry explains in a statement. “I was also inspired by some of [Dante’s] most stunning photographs,” he explains. “The leopard, lion, and she-wolf — which represent passion, pride, and greed, respectively — take shape in astonishing faux-taxidermy masterpieces.”

Unfortunately, the surrealism of it all seems to be too genuine for some people.

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