Stella McCartney sent people dressed in full-body animal costumes down her Paris Fashion Week runway and I have never felt more represented by haute couture. Or should I say hoof cluckture? Hoot coopture? (No, I will not stop.) McCartney injected a serious message with a set of whimsical messengers into her collection, highlighting her longstanding commitment to animal rights. McCartney was one of the earliest designers to refuse to use animal-related products in her work. In the show notes, she expounded on this commitment, writing “There has never been a time when we have had more hope in ending fashion’s use of fur and leather.” And thus, the only animals in sight in McCartney’s sleek collection were the gigantic, fluffy mascot variety and, reader, I am bursting with pride.
As someone who spent years of his youth embodying the soul and polyester body of one Charles Entertainment Cheese, I have long waited for the day when plush-size models would get their due in the fashion world. And, like a character breakfast at Disney World, when it occurred it was so much more than I’d hoped for, beautiful, overwhelming, and a little bit confusing.
McCartney sent a whole farm’s worth of mascots down the runway for the finale, including a bull, a crocodile, and two different cows. I’m also getting unconfirmed reports that there was a very intelligent and empathetic spider holed up in a corner, weaving live-tweets into her web.
Of all of the mascots, I think my heart belongs most to this bunny who is living its absolute best life with a huge handbag and not a care in the world. That bunny is like “Yes, I am aware that in a couple of weeks I have to clock into my gig placing plastic Easter eggs in easily findable locations throughout the world, but right now I am in France, I have a statement purse, I am off the clock, and I am stomping the runway like Gisele Bunnydchen. Know me!”
Have you ever, in your life, seen anyone as pumped about walking through a room as this rabbit is? The only way you could have a more exciting fashion show than this animal mascot is giving you is if Leslie Jones was sitting in the front row, screaming encouragement at her faves Emily Rabbitkowski and Kaia Gerbil. This is the future of fashion.
Honorable mention goes to this crocodile giving you Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club realness. Now I’m imagining all of the animal mascots sitting in fashion detention and realizing that despite their differences, they all respect each other. Can we rush this into production at Pixar immediately?
I do have some questions, however, about the two different cows. Let’s get into that because this is very serious business.
Here’s one cow:
Okay, what we have here is a standard mascot cow presentation. Cow spots, big cartoon eyes, molded horns, placid smile. You look at this mascot and you say “That does appear to be a cow, in as much as no mascots actually look like the animals they’re meant to portray and we as a culture have decided to lie to ourselves about what we see and hear when we encounter farm animals.” Fine, great.
And then we have this cow!
She is beauty! She is grace! She is wearing a full face! Sis was not throwing away her shot on this runway. She’s got the abstract spots, she’s got the winged eye, and she’s even perfected a signature facial expression. This is editorial!
Next year, I want this fashion cow and Gritty in a special collection. This is true mascot representation.
Over at Thom Browne, animals also made a surprise appearance in the form of full-head masks worn by models.
While not as playful as the McCartney mascots, I am serious when I say I need this in my life immediately. Can you imagine walking into your office with an entire damn rhinoceros on your head? And then just sitting at your desk and doing your regular job like you’re a character on Bojack Horseman. This is what happens when you let Eugene Ionesco be the guest mentor on Project Runway.
And this giraffe?! Is perfect. Look at that sly gaze and those little giraffe buck teeth. We stan a demur icon. This giraffe is like, “Well, look, I will boy down to Simba at Pride Rock but please know that I am aware of my own worth and I am working with Zazu to seize the means of production.”
Normally when someone is raving about horse hair at a fashion show, they don’t mean actual hair on a horse but all that is changing now. This is a new day for fashion, for mascot representation, and for being, honestly, a little warm inside of all this but making it work like the bad ass bunny you are.