How much poop on a runway is too much poop?
Fashion designer Charaf Tajer, whose line Casablanca is just 4 years old, bravely attempted to answer that question at his spring/summer 2023 show in Paris. The runway’s centerpiece was a corral of four gorgeous horses, which did what horses often do: stand around and shit on the ground.
The fashion line was inspired by a month Tajer spent on the west coast of Mexico, which he said “has no tourists but ranches,” Women’s Wear Daily reported—sort of explaining why he put four large animals on the runway.
Casablanca recruited two allegedly real cowboys to help the horses remain calm, which they did, but there was no stopping Mother Nature.
I watched the video on YouTube so you don’t have to, and I can report that horse poop appears less than 90 seconds after the first model begins his catwalk, though the actual act was not caught on camera. The focal point of the next model’s outfit is a light-blue pair of assless chaps—a presumably coincidental twist that nevertheless makes me want to send a thank you card to whoever developed this run-of-show.
The next dropping comes a bit more than a minute later, and this time it’s onscreen, right over the shoulder of a model walking straight toward the camera. Shortly thereafter, a model comes out carrying a cluster of roses. (It doesn’t seem to be a last-minute attempt to cover the scent, since they perfectly match the yellow of his suit, but I’m not ruling that out.)
The models remain impeccably straight-faced, even as their path takes them within a yard of the piles of poop. (They better be up for hazard pay.) There are no clear shots of the audience, so I cannot accurately comment on how fashion luminaries reacted to the smell—but if you’ve ever been near a horse before, you know that that room absolutely reeked by the end of this 14-minute show.
In March, Tajer told Vogue Business that the message of his brand is “travel, culture, homage to all cultures, positivity.” And while I wouldn’t necessarily say pounds of horse shit at Paris fashion week checks any of the first three boxes, this fashion show made me laugh so hard I cried, and that’s a breath of positivity we really need right now.