Zendaya's Schiaparelli Lobster Skirt Is a Feast for Fashion Nerds

The crustacean is an homage to Elsa Schiaparelli, Salvador Dalí, and "Dune" sandworms.

Zendaya in a white Schiaparelli Lobster Skirt and button-down shirt
(Image credit: Backgrid)

In the digital age, fashion has become a spectacle. Great design and artistry in clothing have taken a back seat to outfits that boast a shareable, viral moment. Celebrities and those in the A-list crowd often use every opportunity to solidify themselves as a headline-worthy “It” girl: Press tours, red carpets, street style—you name it. Yet Zendaya has always been a bonafide fashion girl who doesn't rely on gimmicks to garner buzz, thanks to her collaboration with the ingenious stylist Law Roach. Her latest look further proves her top-tier status as a genuine style icon: Zendaya wore Schiaparelli's lobster skirt from Spring/Summer 2024, a piece that leans less on virality and temporary trends and instead features quality craftsmanship and a much-needed dose of iconic fashion history.

At the CCXP comic convention in Brazil doing press for Dune: Part Two, the actress wore a white silk button-down shirt tucked into a cream skirt detailed with ruching and a large 3D lobster appliqued on the front. She slicked down her short hair for a wet-like illusion and opted for no bold accessories (thankfully, the lobster steals the show.)

Zendaya in a Schiaparelli white Lobster Skirt and button-down

(Image credit: Law Roach Instagram)

Zendaya's lobster outfit is, of course, interesting at first glance, but there's quite a lot of history behind the look, which certainly excites us fashion nerds. Her entire ensemble is from Schiaparelli’s Spring Summer 2024 runway collection, which served as an ode to the late Elsa Schiaparelli (who started the fashion house back in 1927.)

Inspired by surrealist art, notably Salvador Dalí, Elsa created a now-iconic lobster dinner dress in 1937—which would go on to inspire the modern look. The white silk A-line gown was detailed with an orange sash at the waist and a large drawing of a bright red lobster on the front, courtesy of Dalí. The founder cultivated the fashion house around avant-garde design and current creative director Daniel Roseberry has done an incredible job at keeping the surrealist sentiment in his work. 

Schiaparelli lobster dress in spring/summer 2024 and original lobster dress from 1937

Schiaparelli Spring/Summer 2024/Elsa Schiaparelli's lobster dress

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of course, much credit for Zendaya's recent killer crustacean look also goes to her stylist, Law Roach. The duo is a fashion match made in heaven and has been since the two started working together back in 2011. Roach first styled Zendaya when she was 14 for Justin Bieber’s Never Say Die film premiere. He’s created some of her most iconic looks, like her 2018 Met Gala Joan of Arc homage and her 2019 Met Gala Cinderella-inspired ensemble.

Roach’s mastery is found in how he presents Zendaya as a fashion shape-shifter whose ensembles fall across the style spectrum but still possess an intrinsic Zendaya-ness. This time, Roach paid a close eye to Zendaya's filmography, positioning her lobster look as a subtle nod to the Dune sandworm. He posted on his Instagram story, “It's not a lobster, it’s a Sand Worm.” Thank god that Roach has continued his styling efforts for Zendaya—there’s no doubt that their fashion team will go down in the history books. And since Dune: Part Two's release date was pushed to March 2024, you can surely expect more internet-breaking fashion moments from Zendaya and Roach in the near future.

Kaitlin Clapinski
Fashion Writer

Kaitlin is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer specializing in fashion, beauty, and culture. Her work is also featured in Editorialist, The Everygirl, Bustle, The Zoe Report, and i-D Magazine.