One of the buzzy debuts of the season was Jeremy Scott’s for Moschino. I have something in common with this LA transplant. I used to design for Moschino too, back in the late 90s. It was my first job after St Martin’s. I was hired as a design assistant on the diffusion line Cheap and Chic. I had been battered by St Martin’s sadistic but successful military boot camp approach to education and the nice folk in Via Ceradini took me in. Like shepherds they welcomed me into their Italian Pastoral.
Those were the daze.
I haven’t weighed in on Scott’s catwalk show because I knew lots of other people would, and to be honest I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought. You see, I didn’t trust my instincts. My instincts told me to dislike it automatically because I have never appreciated Scott’s white trash aesthetic before, in fact I’ve scoffed at it. To think of him on such hallowed turf, well, I was up in arms.
Franco Moschino, who unfortunately had passed away a few years before I arrived but whose legendary personality burned in the hearth of the house still, was solely responsible for introducing a sense of humour to the very serious business of Italian fashion. There was Schiaparelli, 50 years before, but something makes me think she took her humour very seriously. Franco Moschino poked fun, got sued, defied tradition and criticized the very industry that couldn’t get enough of his clever, satirical shows. A Moschino catwalk show was a guffaw in fashion’s face––with garlic breath.
Models crawled onto the catwalk, wore paper bags or teddy bears on their heads. Questions, statements and suggestions slapped the sunglasses off the front row. His grammar was excellent. He wore an exclamation point better than anyone.
For me, working there was an Alice Through the Looking Glass experience. I barely recognized fashion when I looked at it from this viewpoint. I could make goofing around a career? St Martin’s hadn’t taught me that. It was the most creatively free house I have ever worked in. It was also my first job; maybe the grown-ups just allowed me to play while they made important decisions.
I liked the words printed on Scott’s shirt when he took a bow at the end of the show: I may not speak Italian but I speak Moschino. Cute.
Early reports suggest those inside the house, mostly a brand new team from management down, are happy. He is appealing to a new crowd and the show must go on has always been the underlying ethos of the house. Katy Perry sat front row.
But I am still wearing my rose tinted glasses. I have no intention of swapping them for Jeremy Scott’s Raybans.
In the good old days, Moschino was sued by luxury goods house, Chanel. Now its main hope for litigation is from the world’s largest fast food chain?
My verdict is this:
It’s just not my bag.
Some of my designs and pieces from my wardrobe:
Fact: 900 drawings went into the development of that collection. Fun: It all came together into a show that lasted 15 minutes.
Fact: I saw none of it because I was backstage. Fun: But I was staring out through the looking glass.
My novel set in the international fashion industry is available now. You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.