Oscars do modern fashion justice post-Jenner’s Paris Fashion Week outfit scandal


Photo taken by Pinkvilla

Kylie Jenner’s bold faux lion head accessory upset many animal activists, prompting reflection upon how much animal cruelty has influenced the fashion industry.

It was on Jan. 22 when Kylie Jenner entered the red carpet of Paris Fashion Week 2023. Jenner sported a black gown by Schiaparelli accented with a life-like faux lion head by Daniel Rose Berry. Backlash quickly ensued, attacking Jenner about what wearing such a realistic depiction of a decapitated endangered animal meant in an industry that kills millions of animals yearly for fur, leather, skin, etc. Jenner’s outfit ultimately shined a light on the continuous effects of animal cruelty within the fashion industry and the ways animal-inspired outfits can support this dark side of fashion.

The idea of having mounted animal heads as an accessory actually originated in 625 BC with Ancient Romans according to National Geographic. Scriptures explained animal skulls symbolize dominance and connection with the animal spirit, which would typically be worn as a helmet of sorts. 

Jenner’s outfit was in bad taste due to the mass amounts of animal cruelty that still occur in fashion. According to Humane Society International, “Each year, around 100 million animals are bred and killed to supply the fashion industry.” Large celebrities such as Jenner wearing symbols of torture shows no remorse for the continued exploitation of animals. Notably, the OscarsOscar’s’ outfits were “show-stopping, glamorous ensembles” by contrast, omitting such problematic themes.

Jenner’s outfit was in bad taste due to the mass amounts of animal cruelty that still occur in fashion.

— Elle Vail ’23

The primary concern with Jenner’s outfit is it created a trend of hunting culture (New York Times). Jenner’s dress is likely inspired by big game hunting: when endangered or notoriously violent animals are hunted for sport. For instance, one of the most well-known big game hunting occurrences in the media in media was when Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump killed two buffalo, a cheetah and cut off the tail of an elephant in Zimbabwe (Daily News)

With red carpets being such a core part of the largely-watched celebrity culture of our nation, such an opportunity in front of thousands watching should be used to benefit the industry. For instance, Florence Pugh’s Oscars look had the volume in its inflated exterior to make it a statement piece without achieving controversy.

Wearing animal carcasses should not be endorsed in the fashion industry, whether symbolized through a faux accessory or not, especially since the fashion industry has set back animal cruelty so much already. This has gone too far. According to People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, numerous designer brands such as Valentino, Versace, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci have gone fur-free over the past few years. 

Clothing and fashion inspired by hunting culture is not appropriate today considering the amount of continuous animal cruelty in the fashion industry. We have come too far in reducing animal cruelty just to endorse it with runway outfits when alternatives, as seen in the Oscars, present viable options as well.