By Kary Vannice
What little girl doesn’t love to rummage around in the bottom of her mother’s closet for those elusive “high fashion” high heels? As a young fashionista in the making, at the age of 5, one of my favorite things to do was play “dress up”. I’ll never forget the day I found my mother’s snakeskin heels!
“What the heck is this? Why would anyone want to wear such ugly and, quite frankly, creepy shoes?”
I found out later, she also had a matching handbag! Can you imagine? Well, at age 5, I simply did not see the “fashion” angle of a dead snake on my mom’s feet. But, in reality, snakeskin has been considered “high fashion” in the industry for decades. My mother’s 1960’s chunky heeled, square-toed shoes are a testament. However, nowadays, snakeskin has joined the long list of “fabrics” that groups like PETA are out to bring awareness to. While reptile leathers may not be hitting the runway at the same rate as soft and fuzzy furs, they still represent an aspect of the dark underbelly of the fashion industry.
Another creepy critter that has crawled onto runways in recent years is the scorpion! This 8-legged arachnid has been featured on everything from jeweled haute couture gowns, to multi-million dollar diamond rings, necklaces and earrings to hip teen sneakers. One designer even turned the ponytails of his models into scorpion stingers. So keep your eyes on the world’s catwalks, you never know what strange creature is going to crawl onto the runway next!