Doja Cat has never been afraid to push the boundaries of fashion. Her looks at October Paris Fashion Week in 2022 were jaw dropping. Whether she was shimmering in gold painted skin and a plaid suit with an asymmetric neckline, or styled in blue and white face paint with a black cut out floor length dress. Doja has proven time and time again that sitting front row at couture shows is not light work, and more importantly, an opportunity to make a statement.
Arriving at the Schiaparelli Spring 2023 couture show, Doja was covered in over 30,000 hand placed, Swarovski crystals wearing a custom look by Schiaparelli's creative director, Daniel Roseberry. Every inch not dazzling in diamonds was still dipped in red as she wore a silk bustier, wooden beaded skirt, knee high boots, and shoulder length ruby earrings. Her entourage was adorned in all red, including her stylist Brett Alan Nelson. Makeup artist Pat McGrath, along with her team spent four hours and 58 minutes applying each gem to the crimson look that McGrath calls “Doja's Inferno”. Doja instantly went viral and has all but consumed the internet with thousands of opinions on the stylistic choice.
The scarlet ensemble has left social platforms torn on the kind of statement this was, though undeniably a statement. “Doja’s Inferno” was modeled after Schiaparelli’s inferno couture collection, inspired by the nine circles of hell. Social media users have called this look “over the top” or “too much”, consistently underlining that just because you can doesn't mean you should. While others have called out the true moment that this look was for fashion history. This look has shocked, stunned, horrified, and “gagged” the masses, everything couture fashion has and continues to evoke in the fashion world. Haute couture was never supposed to be ordinary, let alone attainable.
The point of couture is to start conversation, it's supposed to be once in a lifetime, irreplaceable, and “too much”. Too much is the antithesis of what couture is. Because when else can you wear 30,000 Swarovski crystals in a ruby red ensemble than Haute Couture at Paris Fashion Week, that is what it is all supposed to be about. Couture isn't your everyday runway look, it is hand sewn, handmade, and by definition in its core a five hour makeup look of hand placed crystals, each applied with the utmost care. Is Doja trying too hard to be different and unique? We should all hope so. In a time of fast fashion and dupes, the fashion world needs an icon willing to do anything to create a moment and make a statement.