"Animals are not clowns. The circus is not fun for animals," was the statement Elisabetta Franchi sent down the runway at Milan Fashion Week this season. From behind red-draped big-top-like curtains came a staged circus-inspired collection. Sequins, stripes and ringmaster appropriate apparel were key looks, as were tassles teamed with leopard print.

Franchi's Fall/Winter '16 collection was inspired by her work with animals in Semproniano, Tuscany, a refuge for exotic animals — circus animals. As part of her show, she also sent models down the runway wearing her statement t-shirts, which pictured lions painted as clowns behind bars. There were also cruelty-free fabrics, which further emphasised an anti-exploitation of furs in fashion. 

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