For many Moschino fans out there, the Italian fashion house's Autumn/Winter 2010 collection conjured up visions from a distant yet iconic past.
Exploring the archives, Rosella Jardini came up with the perfect early-to-mid-80s Moschino look, including in the collection long ruffled tiered skirts, bustier frocks, leather skirt suits embellished with metallic elements and studs, gold suits and trench coats, classic logo belts and slogan T-shirts.
A touch of surrealism wasn’t missing: padlocks replaced buttons on leather jackets; keys were used as embellishments; purses were turned into pockets for that perfect Schiaparelli touch (a trick that called back to mind Moschino’s "Dinner Jacket", the iconic piece from his A/W 1989-90 collection that incorporated cutlery pieces instead of pockets) and prints featuring Commedia dell’Arte characters were mixed with Moschino's trademark peace symbols.
All the looks were accessorised with black cowboy hats and big hoop earrings and the latter were also recycled and reinvented as decorations for suits and bags or turned into the hoops of spiral notebook-shaped clutches.
Apart from the Elizabethan cartwheel ruffs that could have been avoided (especially in their skirt version - though the latter created interesting movements), the entire collection - leopard coats and sleeveless shift dresses, fringed jackets, herringbone ruffled skirt, orange jackets with pink corsets covered in black lace and horizontal black and white striped looks included - was a vision out of the Moschino catwalk show in Carlo Vanzina's Sotto il vestito niente (Nothing Underneath, 1985).
In a way, it was only natural to reintroduce such designs since the A/W catwalk show also coincided with the birthday of the late Italian designer and ended up being a sort of tribute of some of the best Franco Moschino stereotypes.
During the 80s, while Armani & Co. were more focused on exploring the possibilities of power dressing, Moschino tried to inject irony and humour into his designs, creating a parallel fashion universe populated by chicly and elegantly dressed women who didn't seem to take themselves too seriously.
Moschino's parody and critique of fashion was better explored by the designer himself in the pictures collected in the volume To be, or not to be, that's fashion! published in 1988 by Idea Books.
Moschino often claimed that it was difficult to find photographers who could interpret his vision through their images and he often provided them with ideas and sketches for his advertising campaign shoots.
Conveying your ideas, feelings and vision through a collection, Moschino claimed, was already hard; getting someone else to try and communicate to other people that same message often ended up making things more difficult and created further barriers between a designer and his audience.
At the time, Mugler and Lagerfeld had already started taking their own pictures and this must have somehow prompted Moschino to do the same.
The results of his photographic efforts were later published in To be, or not to
While the volume also included a few pictures by photographer Stefano Babic, it mainly featured Moschino's ironic collages, posters and images celebrating fashion freedom, with slogans that paraphrased Jesus's words "Let the little children come to me", turning them into "Let at least children to dress up as they want", or used political symbols in ironic ways.
The gold suits and trench coats or sequinned skirts find echoes for example in the Moschino looks modelled by ordinary people in the shoots included in the book and employed by the designer to debunk fashion myths and support his creatively visionary and satirical philosophy.
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