Schiaparelli’s Robot Baby and More Viral Tech Moments on Runways Through the Years: From Givenchy’s LED Dress to Coperni’s Flirty Dogs

Under the supervision of creative director Daniel Roseberry, Schiaparelli introduced its spring 2024 couture collection at Paris Fashion Week on Monday. Among dramatic shapes, long fringes and vinyl pieces, one accessory shown on the runway caught the disputed attention of social media: the robot baby carried by model Maggie Maurer.

The bionic doll was embroidered with Swarovski crystals, old batteries, electronic chips, flip phones and more electronic waste from the pre-iPhone era.

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Maggie Maurer on the runway at Schiaparelli’s spring 2024 show in Paris.

“That’s all pre-2007, which is now basically prehistoric technology, things like the flip phones, the CDs, the calculators and things like that,” Roseberry said, as previously reported by WWD. “A lot of people on TikTok have been taking AI and turning my collections into digital collections and seeing who wore it best, so I was thinking, the only card I have to play now is really my memories.”

The same technique was used to create the look worn by model Hana Soukupova, who was a major presence on Versace’s runways in the early 2000s.

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Hana Soukupova on the runway at Schiaparelli’s spring 2024 show in Paris.

Schiaparelli’s latest viral moment comes one year after the brand made headlines with its faux taxidermy lion head presented at its spring 2023 show in Paris.

With its robot baby and electronic waste dress, the brand joined a list of high fashion houses that have referenced 20th-century machinery on runways over the years. Here, WWD takes a look back at other tech-inspired moments on fashion shows.

Alexander McQueen’s paint-spraying robots, spring 1999

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Shalom Harlow on the runway during Alexander McQueen’s spring 1999 show.

Alexander McQueen’s spring 1999 show is considered one of the most famous shows in fashion history for a reason. Model Shalom Harlow entered the runway wearing a white multi-layered dress that was painted in black and yellow by two paint–spraying robots onstage. The audience was shocked by the robots’ attack and later delighted by the dress’ new graffiti print.

Givenchy’s LED dress suit, fall 2000

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Givenchy’s fall 2000 show.

As creative director of Givenchy, McQueen continued to experiment with technology bringing a “Tron”-inspired collection to the brand’s fall 1999 show. The most memorable look from the runway was its LED circuit board dress suit created by Kees van der Graaf.

Alexander McQueen’s holographic dress, fall 2006

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Kate Moss’ hologram at Alexander McQueen’s 2006 show.

While presenting his “The Widows of Culloden” fall 2006 collection, McQueen had a holographic image of Kate Moss projected on the runway that was created with help from post-production house Glassworks.

Philipp Plein’s robot stylist, spring 2016

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Philipp Plein RTW Spring 2016

At Philipp Plein’s spring 2016 show, robots were handing models handbags and sunglasses on the runway. The collection featured punk rock elements and tons of metallics.

Chanel’s robot masks, spring 2017

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Chanel RTW Spring 2017

Two models wearing robot masks walked the runway to show Karl Lagerfeld’s spring 2017 collection for Chanel. “He [Lagerfeld] make a straightforward foray into wearable tech of the Rue Cambon sort, he played the cyber-chic motif against delicate lingerie pieces, christening the show,” WWD reported at the time.

Philipp Plein’s robot date, fall 2018

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Irina Shayk on the runway at the Philipp Plein’s fall 2018 show.

Plein brought more bionic fixtures to his fall 2018 show. This time, a giant robot finished the show holding hands with supermodel Irina Shayk.

Dior’s cyborg, pre-fall 2019

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Dior Men’s Pre-Fall 2019

A 40-foot-tall female robot created by Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama was the main attraction at Dior’s pre-fall 2019 fashion show in Tokyo. Dior’s creative director, Kim Jones, took inspiration from 1927 sci-fi films to create the concept for the show.

Coperni’s flirty dogs, fall 2023

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Coperni RTW Fall 2023

Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant sent “robot dogs,” built by U.S. firm Boston Dynamics,  onto Coperni’s fall 2023 runway. The robots, which used a form of AI, caused controversy for flirting with models on the runway.

Launch Gallery: Schiaparelli Couture Spring 2024

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