At Schiaparelli’s SS23 show lions walked the runway, but for SS24 the House invited some smaller members of the animal kingdom to partake. Placing the spotlight on birds, crustaceans, and reptiles, the show was littered with animal motifs whilst living up to the status of Schiaparelli’s iconic, avant-garde couture designs, putting an ocean of beautifully crafted and extraordinary pieces on the runway.
At SS23, a diamond-covered Doja Cat or lion head-wearing Kylie Jenner sat in the show’s audience, but this season the outfits worn by Schiaparelli’s guests were more subtle (yet stunning nevertheless). Kylie Jenner wore a sparkling, nude gown with a cut-out lock detail, whilst Rosalía arrived in a black, cropped jacket with gold embellishments. As always, the audience were part of the entertainment.
But their looks still paled in comparison to Schiaparelli’s full collection. Tailoring was prevalent throughout Schiaparelli’s SS24 show, seen in the form of a pin-striped, embroidered sleeveless suit; shirts with giant, billowing collars that looked like tulips; a baby-blue jacket paired with a matching knotted skirt; and a show-stopped, oversized black blazer with 3D, embroidered, found objects including a chain, lock, and lipstick splatter.
The show opened with a rather subdued look (for Schiaparelli, at least). A broad-shouldered and low-cut black mini dress with pocket detailing and a gold stapler detail on the collar was paired with heeled, strappy sandals with one unique quirk: a golden set of toenails detailed on the front. The toenail details on footwear were a common theme throughout the collection, seen on cream, leather boots and lace-up sneakers as well.
This was followed by an enormous, black, straw-style collar paired with a simple pair of suit pants, creating the image of a bird ruffling its feathers to attract a mate; only the first animal motif we’d see hinted at in the collection. In fact, other animal icons were a lot more blatant. The fish was featured in the form of a blue, graphic image printed onto a dress and a fish-bone appeared as a deep, brown necklace which swung from another model’s neck.
The lobster was another animal seen throughout the collection – following on with this oceanic theme – that Schiaparelli turned white and gold, clutching to models’ necklines and skirts. Most iconically, a giant, gold lobster necklace (also seen in a crab version) – the likes of which would cost a fortune to order in a restaurant, let alone have hanging from your neck – added a playful note to the show, a common Schiaparelli trait.
Amidst the otherworldly nature of the lobsters and fish, Schiapareli also demonstrated its ability to create beautifully crafted pieces that were more wearable. A pair of dark blue jeans with white stitching and white boxers poking at the hem modernised the collection, whilst other looks such as a red tunic dress with gold embellishments at the nipple, a simple black dress with attached golden eye necklace, and a glittery, tiger-print bodysuit were wearable whilst still maintaining a Schiaparelli level of excitement.
The collection also featured light-catching dresses and skirts adorned with diamonds, with a ruby-red, strapless iteration seen on Kendall Jenner who closed the show, accessorised with a beehive hairstyle, nude stilettos, and her hands on her hips. The scale-like layering of the sequins on Kendall’s dress evoked a reptilian texture that was seamlessly crafted and glittered as she walked. If anyone’s allowed to call Kendall a snake, it’s Schiaparelli.
Schiaparelli’s SS24 show was everything we expect it to be: immersive, dramatic, inventive, and intricately detailed. The collection included the perfect variety of wholly wearable pieces that you could envision yourself stepping out of the house in, and a spectrum of looks and accessories that you could only arrive at some surreal ball wearing. But that’s what Schiaparelli’s about: taking the surreal and making it fashion.
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