SCHIAPPARELLI COUTURE SS 2023: THE WILD SCHIAPARELLI INFERNO COUTURE
French fashion house Schiaparelli disrupted the Paris Couture Week 2023. Their Spring/Summer collection transcended reality, mesmerizing the audience. The frisson started pre-show, as Doja Cat arrived fully bedazzled, looking like a crystal-covered devil, 30.000 crystals covered to be exact.
Kylie Jenner joined in with her jaw-dropping look, wearing a black gown eclipsed by the giant lion head coming off her shoulder, only a sample of what lay ahead. Both celebrities hinted at the brand creative director's chosen theme, "The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri.
Daniel Roseberry focused on the “Inferno,” drawing from the symbolism of the piece, as per the designer’s notes: “No ascension to heaven is possible without first a trip to the fires, and the fear that comes with it.” His collection dived into Surrealism, as he wanted to blur the lines between the real and unreal, making the audience wonder if what they saw was made by nature or man, reminding them there is no heaven without hell.
An impactful soundtrack set the tone for the show, as exquisitely tailored silhouettes walked in, followed by asymmetric gowns, shell motifs, and sculpted shapes, in a sea of velvet and satin. The designer adopted techniques inspired by the “house of mirrors quality,” delivering his promise, "Nothing is as it appears to be in Schiaparelli's Inferno Couture.”
Stepping away from techniques he usually resorts to, choosing “scary but new,” he paid homage to doubt in this collection. The approach worked, as the world stopped to discuss the three astonishingly realistic animal heads presented on the show. Meticulously crafted faux-taxidermy heads, each hand-sculpted from foam, resin, silk faux fur, wool, and other man-made materials.
Three real-life fashion beasts characterized each of Dante’s animals. Shalom Harlow wore a wool and silk bustier dress featuring a massive snow leopard bursting out of her chest, the first of the animals, representing lust. The lion, the second animal that represents pride, walked the runway in Irina Shayk’s body, the hyper-realistic head came off her shoulder, dressed in a velvet gown. The third and last animal, a she-wolf representing avarice, was showcased by another supermodel. Naomi Campbell left us all in awe of her black faux fur long coat with a wolf head coming off her lapel.
The collection successfully celebrated the glory of the natural world, raising a debate on how high fashion can be cruelty-free. The brand made sure to openly say on their socials that no animals were harmed to create the looks. It gave the audience a lesson in craftsmanship and creativity by sharing behind-the-scenes content, amazing us with the intricate details of their phenomenal creations.