Schiaparelli's Viral Moment: The Jewel-Encrusted Robot Baby Sparks Runway Sensation
Model on the runway at Schiaparelli Couture Spring 2024 as part of Paris Couture Fashion Week held at Petit Palais on January 22, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD via Getty Images)

Schiaparelli’s Viral Moment: The Jewel-Encrusted Robot Baby Sparks Runway Sensation

Fashion shows love to shock and provoke. But a recent viral moment from a Schiaparelli show still has heads spinning – when a model strutted out carrying a glittering, jewel-encrusted robot baby!

Let’s back up. Wacky accents are nothing new on the runway. But this “infant,” perched on the model’s hip, had people doing double-takes. Was it a real baby dolled up à la JonBenet Ramsey? Some kind of animatronic creation? Nope – just a baby-sized stuffed object embellished with Swarovski crystals and electronic scraps.

It wasn’t alone in cyber-centric accessorizing. Another Schiaparelli model donned a “robot dress” bejeweled with obsolete tech like flip phones and circuit boards.

Schiap certainly knew how to stoke buzz. But they aren’t the first fashion house to fuse tech with couture for shock value.

Remember Alexander McQueen’s iconic 1999 show, with model Shalom Harlow rotated on a platform while robots spray-painted her dress? That marriage of technology and fashion set a new bar.

In 2016, a Philipp Plein show saw models parading down an assembly line runway while robots adorned them, evoking femme bots.

And who can forget 2017’s vision of model Irina Shayk strutting the runway hand-in-hand with a hulking transformer-esque automaton?

Even in 2023, Boston Dynamics’ creepy dog-bots “Spot” caused a stir helping models at a Coperni show, from removing coats to carrying purses. Wild stuff!

And these are just a sampling of cyberpunk-esque moments seared into fashion history. Schiaparelli’s glitter baby might fade as new spectacles arise. But for now, it’s broken the internet with sheer “WTF is going on” energy.

Love it or hate it, the house scored viral gold. In fashion’s endless quest to shock, that glittery little faux-bot baby launched a thousand memes.