In the collection notes this season, Roseberry explained himself. He was influenced by Dante Alighieri’s 14th century work The Divine Comedy, a 14,233-line poem divided into three books: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Roseberry says he was particularly struck by “the leopard, the lion, and the she-wolf—representing lust, pride, and avarice” in Inferno. So much so that he recreated these “faux-taxidermy creations,” constructed by hand from foam, resin, and other manmade materials. He wanted to celebrate “the glory of nature and guarding the woman who wears it.” It’s no coincidence the outcome was so lifelike, either. “In this collection,” Roseberry continued, “you’re never quite sure who made the piece you’re looking at—was it nature? Or was it man?”
While the Schiaparelli ensembles certainly made an impression on the catwalk, it comes as no surprise that Jenner was the one to make them go viral this morning. She’s one of the most-watched and discussed celebrities at Haute Couture week, after all. The Kardashians are also no stranger to controversial fashion choices—like when sister Kim Kardashian wore Marilyn Monroe’s dress to last year’s Met Gala—so it was only natural that Jenner kicked off couture week with a bang.
It’s worth remembering, however, that the point of Couture week is not to deliver safe (or even wearable) ideas. For designers, the point is to push the boundaries of craftsmanship and technique; For celebrities attending the shows, it’s an opportunity to let their style creativity run wild. It’s clear both Schiaparelli and Jenner were on the same page here.
For now, both Jenner and Roseberry seem unfazed by all of the online rumblings. In fact, it may be all part of the designer’s masterful plan all along. Roseberry hinted at a deliberate play between the good and bad in his press release. “On my most difficult days, when inspiration just won’t come, I remember that no ascension to heaven is possible without first a trip to the fires, and the fear that comes with it,” Roseberry wrote. “Let me embrace it always.”