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  • Writer's pictureSwati Bhat

'No animals were harmed,' says Kylie Jenner, whose ultra-realistic lion head caused a stir at Paris

Kylie Jenner arrived at the first show of the season wearing a lifelike lion's head on her shoulder, kicking off couture week in Paris with a roar. Although, some social media users mistook the Schiaparelli mane for a genuine piece of taxidermy, not all animal activists were disturbed.

Swati Bhat

Mane event: Kylie Jenner arrived at the Schiaparelli show in Paris wearing a dress with a lifelike lion’s head attached. Photograph: Laurent VU/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

The Schiaparelli gown, which also walked the runway, was made of "foam, wool, and silk faux fur, and hand painted to look as lifelike as possible," according to the brand's Instagram account.

To be clear, the brand added in all caps: "NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN MAKING THIS LOOK."

However, the French fashion house may have made a mistake by choosing the controversial youngest scion of the Kardashian-Jenner clan to debut a gown that is open to interpretation.

Commenters on social media speculated that if anyone could pull off a real lion's head, it would be Jenner. Several Twitter users appeared to have misidentified the head as a genuine taxidermy piece.

Russian model Irina Shayk walks the runway in the lion dress. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Some of the backlash was more nuanced. One comment on Schiaperelli’s Instagram post, which has attracted more than 600 likes, said: “We have to stop showing animals as luxury ‘products’. They may be made from foam but these are endangered species that have historically been killed for their pelts to be turned into garments.”

The fashion house, which has deep ties to the surrealist art movement, was originally established in 1927. Like many luxury fashion brands at the time, the house, under the direction of its founder Elsa Schiaparelli, used exotic furs and animal skins in its original heyday. While outsized animal motifs remained when the brand was revived by Tod’s Group in 2012, the house has subsequently eschewed real fur.

Not all animal rights activists were disturbed by the lion, with the Peta president Ingrid Newkirk praising the look. She told TMZ that the brand’s collection of three-dimensional animal heads was “fabulously innovative” and “may be a statement against trophy hunting, in which lion families are torn apart to satisfy human egotism”.


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