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Look of the Week: Is Demi Moore bringing back the handbag dog?

Editor’s Note: Featuring the good, the bad and the ugly, ‘Look of the Week’ is a regular series dedicated to unpacking the most talked about outfit of the last seven days.

The human-canine bond is widely regarded as special. But the union between celebrities and chihuahuas? Sacred.

This week, while completing a press tour around New York for the FX series, “Feud: Capote vs. the Swans,” Demi Moore was hardly seen without her 1.5 pound dog, Pilaf, nestled in her elbow. From talk show tapings, autograph signings and even the Saturday Night Live afterparty, Pilaf was practically part of the furniture — or at least part of the outfit.

In the daytime, when Moore was snapped wearing an oversized wool coat and slacks, or wide leg jeans and a graphic tee, her chihuahua was tucked casually into a sleek black sling. But when the occasion called for a little more glamor — as was the case on Wednesday evening, when Moore donned a Versace lace cut-out blazer dress to appear on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert — Pilaf was held proudly in her owner’s palm like a fluffy tan clutch bag. “My little teeny tiny companion,” she told Colbert on air. “She is a treasure, she’s like my little extra heart.”

On Monday, Moore was spotted again with her dog, Pilaf, this time in Tribeca. - Gotham/GC Images/Getty Images
On Monday, Moore was spotted again with her dog, Pilaf, this time in Tribeca. - Gotham/GC Images/Getty Images

Of course, Moore isn’t the first A-lister to partner-up with a petite pooch.

In the 2000s, miniature dogs were considered a must-have fashion accessory. During the height of her influence, Paris Hilton was regularly seen with a fleet of chihuahuas in tow. Tinkerbell, Diamond Baby and Harajuku Bitch (who passed away just last year) were often dressed in complementary outfits and considered extensions of Hilton’s hyper feminine fashion identity. Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde,” whose on-screen look was widely regarded to be inspired by Hilton, is not only constantly color-blocked in pink, but also never without her chihuahua, Bruiser. Lindsay Lohan named her micro-mini maltese Gucci, after the pup ate her first ever luxury fashion purchase; while in the 2010s, a caramel-colored maltipoo (a maltese-poodle cross) was permanently wedged under Blake Lively’s armpit.

Paris Hilton photographed with one of her chihuahuas at an SNL afterparty in 2005. - James Devaney/WireImage/Getty Images
Paris Hilton photographed with one of her chihuahuas at an SNL afterparty in 2005. - James Devaney/WireImage/Getty Images

But many animal rights groups and shelters thought the idea of designer dogs was degrading — specifically that forcing animals to wear clothes, or exist for lengths of time inside a Louis Vuitton handbag was “harmful.”

Certain miniature breeds, too, came with serious health issues that were often overlooked for their cutesy appearance. In 2015, a report from UK animal welfare charity Blue Cross revealed chihuahuas and other previously fashionable teacup-sized dogs were being abandoned across the country at record numbers.

Wearing a Versace lace tailored blazer dress, Moore held Pilaf like a tiny fluffy clutch bag. - James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images
Wearing a Versace lace tailored blazer dress, Moore held Pilaf like a tiny fluffy clutch bag. - James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images

Thankfully, Pilaf is likely a rescue dog. Moore is known to adopt and foster abandoned puppies (she currently has 10 at her home in Idaho) and is staunchly anti-puppy farms. Now, not only does Pilaf get to accompany her famous owner to glitzy engagements, she regularly rubs shoulders with Hollywood’s finest — from Pedro Pascal to Jeremy Allen White. The dog’s escapades (including sitting front row at the Spring-Summer 2024 Versace show) are chronicled, naturally, on her own personal Instagram account with 13k followers — in which Moore barely features.

“The truth is, she’s the star and I’m her accessory,” she told Colbert.

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