Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2023
Schiaparelli opened Haute Couture Week in Paris with the likes of Kylie Jenner wearing a custom lion’s head in attendance. A continuation of designer Daniel Roseberry’s acclaimed work, the show reinvents and references the ethos of founder Elsa Schiaparelli.
The runway featured the standout of Jenner’s custom look – a lion’s head – decorated on an asymmetrical black dress. Now, constructed and embroidered by hand, the animal heads nodded to Dante’s Inferno and the beasts – leopard, lion and she-wolf. According to Roseberry, the animals “celebrate the glory of nature and protect the woman who wears it.” Additionally, other animal kingdom appearances include a snake coiled around a suit jacket and reversed gold and emerald peacock feather acting as a top. The recurring theme of animals transformed a simple look, in black and white, to being dramatic and dangerous.
Details and Tailoring
Moreover, cinched waists dominated show and paired with exaggerated and billowing silhouettes made for an eclectic look. Despite black and white being the base colors, scatters of gold and emerald helped the collection from boring the audience. Meanwhile, velvet was a common denominator in many ensembles and used in a classic tuxedo to a green ombré dress. Oversized and cropped embroidered jackets dramatized simple, sleek black dresses or high waisted trousers. Various metals also constructed slinky gowns that when moved showcased exquisite tailoring and detail. Overall, the dark colors alongside the garment materials including fur and metals lend this collection a mythical or biblical quality.
While the use of animal heads is the most innovative detail in this collection, the reactions on social media are fairly mixed. Some called it innovative while others, despite the pieces not being real, decry it as promoting animal cruelty. As the fashion industry takes a step forward in environmentalism and sustainability it’s hard to tell whether couture will also transform to become palatable. But if haute couture is evidently the ultimate grounds for creativity, are they subject to rules? Or will that simply limit creative freedom?