Speaking up. Irina Shayk spoke out in defense of Schiaparelli after the fashion house was criticized for designing a dress that featured a life-like lion head.
The French fashion house became a trending topic on Monday, January 23, after Kylie Jenner attended the label’s spring/summer 2023 show during Haute Couture Fashion Week in the floor-length black garb that was equipped with the wild cat replica. Shayk, 37, unveiled a different iteration of the gown on the runway as Jenner sat front row.
“I support these incredible artists who worked tirelessly with their hands using wool, silk and foam to sculpt this embroidered lion,” Shayk wrote via Instagram later on Monday, adding that the creation is an “image of pride.”
“An image that @Schiaparelli invokes while exploring themes of strength. I am honored to have been called on as well to lend my art as a woman to this,” the catwalk star concluded, tagging the label’s creative director Daniel Roseberry.
Alongside the caption, the Russia native shared a carousel of images that showed her in the number as well sketches and a photo of craftsman taking her measurements.
Jenner, 25, also praised the ensemble. “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST,” she wrote via Instagram. “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.”
The luxury label asserted via its own official Instagram account that no animals “were harmed in making this look.” Schiaparelli explained that the fashion statement was made to celebrate “the glory of the natural world.”
Still, many found the depiction to be off-putting. “So sad. Even if those are totally fake the message behind it will cause a lot of uncontrollable hunting,” wrote one social media user in the comments section of Schiaparelli’s post. “The whole concept of this is repulsive. Regardless of whether the animal heads are real or replicas, they promote trophy hunting, which is obviously disgusting, violent, and non-progressive. Try again,” a different comment read.
Naomi Campbell, who also walked the show, was seen strutting in a black coat that was finished with a wolf head at the shoulder.
Roseberry explained the concept further, telling Vogue on Monday that he was inspired by Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy — a poem divided into three books: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The designer was moved by a particular passage where the “leopard, the lion and the she-wolf” represented “lust, pride and avarice.”
He added that he wanted to honor nature’s ability to guard “the woman who wears it.”