Held twice a year, Paris Haute Couture fashion week showcases the most expensive clothes in the world.
Inviting big spenders and celebrities to sit front row at exclusive catwalk shows, design houses hope their affluent clientele will place orders for bespoke versions of the garments they see on the catwalks.
In a bid to hit the headlines or go viral on social media, designers often include weird and wonderful fashion and beauty looks within their couture collections, and the spring/summer 2023 edition – currently taking place – is no exception.
From animal embellishments to questionable hair, here are six of the strangest trends from the Paris couture shows so far…
1. Faux taxidermy
"No animals were harmed in making this look," a post on the Schiaparelli Instagram account declared – that’s how convincing the fake lion, leopard and she-wolf heads were, as seen on models Naomi Campbell, Irina Shayk and Shalom Harlow.
As well as the three taxidermy-style pieces on the runway (made from sculpted foam, resin, wool and silk faux fur), Kylie Jenner sat front row wearing a lion headdress of her own.
2. Extreme make-up
Fierce fashion wasn’t the only reason Schiaparelli broke the internet on Monday.
The show also featured extreme make-up, with several models’ faces painted gold.
Giving Kylie Jenner a run for her money on the front row, Doja Cat was transformed into a sparkling red siren by legendary make-up artist Pat McGrath.
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The singer and rapper was covered in over 30,000 Swarovski crystals in a process that took almost five hours.
3. Bow ties with everything
At Chanel’s puppy love-themed show, designer Virginie Viard put an androgynous spin on her spring/summer offering, by adding bow ties to almost every look, from boucle skirt suits and jumpsuits, to ball gowns and even a wedding dress.
4. Top hats
The other accessory we should all be wearing this spring according to Chanel? A top hat.
Bringing ringmaster chic to the catwalk, models donned black top hats with embroidered jackets, ruffled frocks and sweeping coats.
5. Gigantic earrings
The voluminous gowns at Giambattista Valli called for some showstopping jewellery, which came in the form of humongous silver and pearl drop earrings.
Wondering how models coped with the weighty accessories? The earrings actually looped over the top of their ears instead of hanging from their lobes.
6. Slick fringes
At Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by the 1920s and Josephine Baker, with models’ hair styled like the cabaret singer’s Eton crop.
For most models, that meant two thin baby hairs curled on their foreheads, while others had their fringes parted and slicked down.