Is imitation the greatest form of flattery—or shade? That question is up in the air for many fans who believe that Zayn Malik‘s ex-girlfriend, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards, shaded his current girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, on Instagram.
Confused? Let us break down the drama: On Sunday, at Milan Fashion Week, the 22-year-old model walked in her last-ever show for her collaboration with designer Tommy Hilfiger, who she’s been working with since 2016 and has produced four collections with.
One of the most iconic looks from the Gigi x Tommy show featured Hadid in a cropped white t-shirt with “TH x GH” emblazoned on it and skin-tight blue leather pants inspired by those of race car drivers. Hadid was such a fan of the look that it was one of the few she shared on Instagram from the emotional fashion show.
“gearing up for the race#tommyxgigi 🏎💥🏁❤ @tommyhilfigerpre-show by @lilmami_lani,” Hadid wrote in a caption.
Little did Hadid know that the outfit would create a whirlwind of drama when Edwards, Malik’s ex, recreated the near-exact look hours after Hadid wore it. After Hadid’s show, Edwards posted three Instagrams of her wearing a cropped white t-shirt and blue race-car-driver-inspired pants not unlike the outfit Hadid sported hours earlier. Even Edwards pants, which featured black and white details, were similar to Hadid’s.
The near-identical pictures immediately spurred fans to accuse Edwards of shade, especially after she posted an Instagram with a caption that was seemingly pointed at Hadid: “We didn’t just look the part. We tore up the track 🏁🏎.” Many interpreted the caption as a diss toward Hadid dressing up as a race car driver, while Perrie actually knew how to drive a race car. The reactions were mixed, with many fans praising Edwards for her expert shade while others lambasted her for her petty behavior. A few comments included:
“Lmao is u shading gigi?”
“Looks like she’s wearing @gigihadid’s tommy hilfiger collection 😂😂😂”
“Shade at Gigi ? ”
“she always tries to offend or insult Gigi because of Zayn. It is past, but she probably can’t get over with that. Hurt and humiliated woman, but she looks pathetic, yes.”
If you haven’t been keeping up with the Edewards-Malik-Hadid love triangle, Edwards and Malik began dating in May 2012 and became engaged in August 2013. Two years later, in July 2015, the couple broke off their engagement. Six months later, Malik began dating Hadid.
This isn’t the first time Edwards has been accused of shade either. In July 2017, during a performance of Little Mix’s song “Shout Out to My Ex” (which is widely to believed to be about Malik), Edwards seemingly dissed Hadid with a lyric change. Though not confirmed, many fans believe that Edwards changed the song’s lyrics from “Hope she ain’t fakin’ it like I did” to “Hope she ain’t fakin’ it like Hadid” for the performance.
It’s unclear whether Edwards’s outfit was intentional shade or a very ill-timed coincidence. Perhaps both of Malik’s girlfriends have a thing for race cars and skin-tight blue pants. What we do know is that Edward’s Instagrams have riled up the internet, us included.