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Schiaparelli Spring 2023 Show: THIS is Couture

The power of social media allows a voice to be heard across the nation without accreditation of expertise. Demeaning commentary appears online every second. One comment could spark a movement, kill a business or throw someone in jail. The Schiaparelli fashion show recently became a victim of the ever-growing power of social media, as criticism from the public grows regarding designer Daniel Roseberry’s creation of uber-realistic animal heads and more. However, these critics may not have the fashion expertise required to attack Roseberry’s show.

The Spring 2023 Schiaparelli show gave more than Haute Couture. It is couture. Imagine the mysterious yet illuminating “Lanhaya” by Okvsho plays at a ball while slender, sleek, and invigorating model Irina Shayk prances down the runway wearing a white leopard dress. In the center of the dress lies a strikingly hyper-realistic leopard head. On her face lies a black phantom mask held up by black laced gloves. This one look challenged what the world outside of fashion thought about this collection.

Comments on Instagram varied from invigorated rage over the surrealism of the looks. While fashion critics argue that this collection exerts brilliance, Instagram commenters question if the lion is real or hyper-realistic. Then proceeded to demand answers as to why it was so realistic. One Instagram commenter, @Silviajoo questioned the intention, “Celebrate the glory of the natural world with a decapitated animal’s head as an inspiration? Another Instagram commenter, @2a__a__a2 stated, “lack of awareness and culture.” Each commenter intended to point out details to orchestrate a false image of the couture house Schiarapelli. Yet with each one, the opposite is true.

The couture house of Schiaparelli has always been known to create surreal silhouettes, impose expressionism and straddle the name of Haute Couture with outlandish designs. Schiaparelli herself designed it with the intention to challenge fashion norms and establish that clothes are more than comfort and daily practice. PETA backed up Schiaparelli to accredit that the hyper-realistic animals were indeed handcrafted replicas. But, this still didn’t satisfy the public.

The often misused and misunderstood term, Haute Couture, requires vigorous qualification and an atelier where designs are hand-crafted for specific audiences. Before even being able to cast a model or orchestrate a couture show, a presentation is required in front of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. This panel delegates the honorary title of a couture house. This delegation consistently governs the principles necessary to be an Haute Couture house. Style is observed through the eye, and fashion is recognized through the mouth. Meaning, no design can be too outrageous to the public.

If it leaves you with a mouthful that turns out to be talked about for a lifetime, the collection becomes analogous and timeless. In an age where repetition consumes our daily life through music and kindred runway designs, this show is a breath of fresh air. Whether a Schiaparelli silhouette captures the hearts of fashion TikTok’s subculture or leaves editors ranting on Twitter about the shortcomings in the tailoring, the designs still generate conversation.

The masses talk about a revolutionary show. Regardless of the backlash that designer Daniel Roseberry faced regarding the outcome of the collection, Schiaparelli continues to cloud the minds of couture ignorance, bless the knowledgable and remain in the canon of Haute Couture.

By Melissa Taylor, Contributing Writer


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