Total Fantasy. Moschino AW21

Jeremy Scott‘s autumn-winter 2021 collection for Moschino is hilariously good. Forget the lockdown-and-loungewear talk. Here’s total, camp fantasy. Possessed by the mad spirit of Franco Moschino, Scott has become a master of meta. He had to design this collection in tandem with the short film he wanted to make, with every model, look and dimension planned to precision before the clothes ever existed. There we were, sitting in front of screens as Scott knew we would, watching a digital show about a real-life salon show, which turned out to be a show within a show, all its players part of the line-up. In this imposed digital moment in fashion and life, Scott’s theater was a thought-provoking image of our current surreal lives: layers and layers of trompe l’oeil, in garments as well as their unreal surroundings. “I wanted to do things in film that you can’t do live,” Scott said on a video call from Los Angeles, reflecting on the two digital showcases he’s created during the lockdown period. Last season he designed a puppet-sized collection for a complex and fantastic marionette show. This time, he called upon 36 star models, It girls and pin-ups as diverse as Maye Musk (who presented the salon show) to Precious Lee, Dita Von Teese, and Winnie Harlow (who attended it), and Hailey Bieber, Miranda Kerr, and Shalom Harlow (who modeled in it). They staged a multi-dimensional portrayal of a lady’s everyday life: outfits for business, leisure, upkeep, travels and balls; all activities we haven’t had a reason to dress for over the past year. Even for a wardrobe designed for coming out of lockdown, the Old Hollywood Technicolor glamour of Scott’s collection – titled Jungle Red after the name of the nail varnish du jour in the 1939 George Cukor film The Women – was decidedly extravagant. “I guess I live in such a fantasy land I didn’t really think of it that way. I mean, you have to get dressed anyway, don’t you?” Scott quipped, rolling his eyes at continued fashion forecasts for comfort-wear. “Comfort schmomfort! What we need now more than ever is fantasy and glamour and things that make you feel wonderful, and I don’t think sweatpants do that.” So, call it a surreal wardrobe for surreal times: for lunch, little tweed dresses with purses dotted around them as adornment. For work, bankers’ pinstripe suits reconstructed into bustier dresses. For the countryside, Franco Moschino’s cloud and cow motifs unified on gowns alongside burlap potato sack peplum dresses – all delightfully impractical, of course, for the actual countryside. There was Kirsty Hume with a windmill on her head. And for afternoons at the museum, chic skirt suits cut like biker jackets, and paintings that came to life in brushstroke evening wear. Flamingo gloves framed the arrival of an actual dress shaped like the bird. Dita Von Teese closed the film in a show-stopping moment that was, quite literally, a cheeky statement of glamour in a time of dullness. All’s well that ends well, as they say. Let that be the concluding remark for this digital chapter in fashion history, which no one has aced quite like Jeremy Scott. Brilliant!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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