Moschino Daze

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.

My Maison Moschino bag

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.Moschino Moschino 2 Moschino 1

Rosella Jardini, former assistant of Franco's and Creative Director of the house from 1994-2013, photographed in LOVE magazine

Rosella Jardini, former assistant of Franco’s and Creative Director of the house from 1994-2013, photographed in LOVE magazine

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.

Me in the Mirror

Inside the looking glass

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.

Rhianna in Moschino Pre Fall 14

Rhianna in Moschino Pre Fall 14

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott

From the Fall/Winter 2014 catwalk

From the Fall/Winter 2014 catwalk


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.

My drawer of Moschino scarfs

My collection of Moschino scarfs

Moschino: Characters Welcome

Moschino: Characters Welcome

Kat and Edward?

This striking pair drawn by one of the house’s print designers make me think of of Kat and Edward? Little bit?

Some of my designs and pieces from my wardrobe:

Baby dress on back of adult dress

Baby dress on back of adult dress

IMG_5742 IMG_5735 IMG_5754 IMG_1352

IMG_6010 IMG_6101

Franco was a former illustrator for Gianni Versace

Franco was a former illustrator for Gianni Versace

Moschino trench coat pattern. Note pattern piece marked "Back capey thingy"

Moschino trench coat pattern. Note pattern piece marked “Back cape thingy”

IMG_1349For Spring/Summer 1999 the house of Moschino predicted it wouldn’t be the end of the world. They weren’t wrong. Life carried on, a perfect blend of fun and fact.

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.

The irreplaceable Franco Moschino

The irreplaceable Franco Moschino

My novel set in the international fashion industry is available now. You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.


  1. This is fabulous! Lucky you….what an experience to have. And the dress covered in bows…..superb. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Jackie! I’m loving “Silk for the Feed Dogs.” And now I know what a feed dog is. I feel so smart. I still dress badly, but the more I read the more I long to be draped in filmy materials. P.S. For some reason your writing voice reminds me of some of Gail Godwin’s older works, a great compliment such I love Godwin’s older works. Cheers

    • Thanks, Cinthia. Now you’ve got me off on a Gail Godwin chase. Years ago someone told me I resembled Sally Field at a certain angle…I went and watched all her movies in one weekend! 🙂

  3. ohhhhh. i hate you. HOW LOVELY!!!

    not really. you know what i mean. ……….as i wear my ray bans to the office with “silk for the feed dogs” in hand…
    AND…hate you more that you didnt tell me you were selling your NY another home i spose? hmm. you really my dear!

    • That’s a cool look you’re rocking and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! New York “homes” are a little different that good ole southern ones. For different, read SMALLER! You’ve nothing to be hating over, sweetie. xo

  4. I’ve always appreciated humor in fashion, and few designers were as funny and clever as the late Franco Moschino ! I love the fact that you’ve told me about this post on my blog, but you did not boast about your personal experience at Moschino ! I absolutely admire your designs and your honesty about fashion ! Thanks for publishing this !

  5. Jackie, I am jealous of your Moschino Collection. Your dresses are lovely, your scarf collection – divine, the leather jacket and velvet coat – amazing, pattern – hilarious, your memories – fantastic, and so on~ Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. I don’t see myself buying the ‘Mac’schino items anytime soon, but I think the brand grew a little more serious for while there and they are trying to ‘lighten up’~ (BTW,I haven’t been inspired to go in as I walk by the Meatpacking District Store..– if your pieces were there, I would be interested. XO)

    • You make a valid point. They were a little adrift. They needed to pop their red clown noses on and spring back on the scene and they seem to have done that. The wheels of change must turn or the other option is Stop. I have my little drawer of scarfs and memorabilia from my time and that’s good enough. I did see a little biker jacket purse that Jeremy Scott did for them recently though and smiled approvingly…
      And if I am ever inclined to donate my collection, I’ll be in touch 🙂

  6. Thingy – that is a word – right? Now that I see it in print, I’m sure of it!

  7. Thingy is a not only a word, it is a useful, appropriate, descriptive, invaluable, passepartout! Well done you on using it so eloquently all these years!

  8. All the I Moschino I could afford in those early days where the Eau de Toilette, the soap in the pink container with the pearl on top (which I used for storing hair pins etc. afterwards) and the coolest bathing suit I ever had and which bankrupted me for months after… 😀 Loved their / your designs!!! Hey, aren’t I lucky I can say “I know the designer…?!?!?!” 😀

    • Well, you can’t say that anymore! My days there are long ago but my memories are clear as ever 🙂 I used to love the design of the perfume bottles too. And the shoes…

  9. I want to dive right into your drawer full of Moschino scarves. Silk for the Feed Dogs is definitely on my to-read list! Jx

  10. Jade, I shall keep my scarf drawer ajar in case you need it. Thanks for being curious about my novel too 🙂

  11. Oh yum, that dress with the bows reminds me of those lovely ribbon candies. What a wonderful and exciting time that was for you – shades of Kat, just like on the scarf. Also, I would fight in an arena like a gladiator to get that little house bag. Where’s my sword?!

    • It was all the fun of the fair, Laura, and you’re right about the candy stripe. Hi-ya! I protect that bag with a sword of my own 🙂 When I take it out, it has the same effect as having a cute puppy. People lean in and ooh and ash and smile. I get nothing done on those occasions so I mostly display it at home 🙂

  12. I agree, the dress with the bows is the knock out piece 🙂

  13. Hehe. it or loath it? I applaud the’s a clever Collection..and I still dying to see my first more-money-then-sense-fashionista wearing a Macdonald’s uniform! I LOVE the bag you designed… xxxxxx

    • Oh my students have already shown me images of Nicky Minaj, Rhianna, an assortment of rappers who I shamefacedly have to admit I do not know, and a clutch of models…all rocking Maccy D’s! Whether they paid for them is another matter. Jeremy Scott lives to see another day. Maybe I’ll get used to it…like a new construction that’s going up and blocking the view, when it’s there a while, I’ll forget what it looked like before :-)xo

  14. As soon as I was able to afford a designer piece I went out and bought a Moschino Cheap and Chic ensemble! In 88 or 89 I think. It remained my favourite for years even though I hated 80s fashion. I will say no more!
    PS: The dress with the baby dress and the one with bows are SO very Kat! And I SO love them!

    • I wish I owned some of the Moschino late 80s pieces now. They’re so bold. At the time I appreciated more dainty, detailed clothes. Now a strong color or pattern with a novelty button or slogan(I’m thinking Fran Drescher in The Nanny) would go over well 🙂
      Shades of Kat for sure 🙂

  15. Such an interesting Moschino post–a great read from start to finish!!
    And so love seeing your smiling face reflected off the ‘looking glass’…
    a very creative and symbolic photo indeed 😉
    Just finished ‘A Cabinet of Curiosities’ in Silk for the Feed Dogs–and oh what curiosities there were…
    and now your post has me even more excited to read about Kat in Milan!!
    Enjoying your book as much as I enjoy all your wonderfully refreshing posts~ xo

    • So excited about your reports from different chapters…like little picnic rest stops 🙂 Delighted to have you as a reader and hope you and Kat continue to enjoy each other’s company as there is much traveling together still to be done. xo

  16. Hung Tran

    I didn’t know what to make of Jeremy Scott’s debut at first, but then I decided that it was the same tacky new rave monstrosities he creates in New York. Absolutely terrifying. You clearly have personal interest in the evolution of Moschino (thanks for sharing, btw! Super interesting) so you can escape to a time when Moschino was witty, but not trashy. Jeremy Scott is a designer of my generation, and it looks like he could be around for ages…like a venereal disease.

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