How Kylie Jenner’s latest hyper-realistic lion head dress sparked uproar at Paris Couture Week

Makeup mogul Kylie Jenner has sparked a fresh controversy by arriving for Schiaparelli’s couture show, wearing a black velvet bustier dress featuring a life-size lion’s head. Unsurprisingly, her lion-dress grabbed the eyeballs of people, with some wondering if the couture garment actually glamourised hunting and killing of animals.

The head of the lion (complete with a manicured mane) covered the entirety of Jenner’s torso. She finished the outfit with a pair of black Schiaparelli sling-backs with golden embossed toes. The dress is a pre-release of Schiaparelli’s Spring-Summer 2023 couture collection, with the surreal lion look also featuring on models walking down the runway.

Schiaparelli’s creative director Daniel Roseberry said the ensembles, featuring the lion’s head as well as a snow leopard a wolf, were based on the three beasts that appear in the 14-Century poem Dante’s Inferno and represented lust, pride and avarice”.

The head-turning pieces, according to the fashion house, were all hand-sculpted out of foam, hand-embroidered with wool and silk faux fur, and then hand painted to look as life-like as possible, and were not actual pieces of taxidermy.

Roseberry explaining his thought process on the garments said he wanted to celebrate “the glory of nature and guarding the woman who wears it,” adding, “In this collection, you’re never quite sure who made the piece you’re looking at—was it nature? Or was it man?”

While some people praised Roseberry and Schiaparelli for the hyper-realistic designs, the clothes have stirred a row, with some questioning if the clothes support or glamourise hunting.

But, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had a different take on the issue. The animal rights group’s president Ingrid Newkirk praised the looks, telling 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”.

Perhaps, though, this ruckus was what Roseberry wanted. In his notes, he wrote, “It is a reminder that there is no such thing as heaven without hell; there is no joy without sorrow; there is no ecstasy of creation without the torture of doubt. Let me embrace it always.”