A woman holding a banner reading "We are all fashion victims" infiltrated the catwalk at Christian Dior's show in Paris on Tuesday (Sep 29), walking the runway so calmly that it appeared at first to be part of the event.
The protester was acting in the name of Extinction Rebellion, an activist movement that aims to highlight the risks posed by climate change. The act was meant to denounce "the impact of the fashion industry on the environment and society", a spokesman for the movement in France said.
Strolling past guests including Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams and the billionaire boss of Dior parent LVMH Bernard Arnault in the front row, the woman walked towards photographers after models had exited the runway.
She left the scene without anyone challenging her and leaving some people confused over whether it was a stunt or part of the show.
Dior's womenswear collections are designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, who has often introduced logos into her collection as well as feminist statements on T-shirts and on set. Dior declined to comment further.
Extinction Rebellion, which has led protests at London's Fashion Week since February 2019, started a campaign this week highlighting the waste generated by the industry.
Dior kicked off Paris Fashion Week in earnest with a safely-distanced runway show as models paraded around an art installation recalling Gothic-style stained-glass windows to a live choir performance.
Guests wore face masks and were given temperature checks, with crowds limited to 300 rather than the 800 to 1,000 the label, owned by LVMH, would normally invite.
The COVID-19 crisis also influenced the collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri said, including with the looser, flowing lines of some outfits meant to "support us, to feel better".
The label's normally structured and cinched classic Bar jackets got a softer makeover, while some looks came with a Japanese twist, including kimono-like spring coats, in an array of paisley prints, tie-dye stripes or floral patterns.
The styles contained nods to female figures or writers, including a couple of long, buttoned up white shirts, a style Susan Sontag has been pictured in.
(Reporting by Sarah White, Michaela Cabrera and Noemie Olive; Editing by Angus MacSwan)