Most kids love video games and will enthusiastically tell you (if you're willing to listen...) everything about winning certain levels, defeating a particular boss or finding secret bonuses in unlikely parts of a game. My nephews (9 and 11 years old) love Super Mario and would be happy to play any Mario game on any platform and console they could put their hands on (even the oldest ones, just to get that vintage thrill...). At the moment Super Mario Maker seems to be their favourite: months before this title became available they had already read everything about it on the Internet and they had diligently explained me what the game was about.
It was therefore an almost nightmarish situation when, opening a message that had landed in my email box and that announced the availability of Moschino's S/S 2016 collection, I started seeing Super Mario pictures on the products on offer.
For a second I thought my nephews had subliminally brainwashed me, but then I realised they were innocent. Surprisingly enough, the line of products advertised in the email didn't include traffic cones and Powerpuff Girls as seen in September on the fashion house's runway.
The collection featured indeed a series of sweats, T-shirts, bags, belts and rucksacks with Super Mario, Bowser and Luigi (plus a few Super Stars and coins). The slogan "Super Moschino" accompanies the characters and it looks like the collaboration is legal (for a change...) since there is written "Licensed by Nintendo" (blimey, how much did you pay for it considering that Mario was too expensive to be included in Disney's Wreck-It Ralph?).
What's interesting about this collaboration is that it takes design laziness to a new level (apart from making you wonder why these pieces were not on the runway show, has the Powerpuff Girls X Jeremy Scott agreement fallen through?). Yes, Jeremy Scott is not new to using cartoonish and trendy characters in his designs and, since he became Moschino's Creative Director, the Italian house's collections have featured SpongeBob, Barbie, the Looney Tunes, and the Powerpuff Girls.
But what's extremely ridiculous in this case is the fact that some of the tops in this collaboration look worst than the unauthorised garments you may find on AliExpress (check out the last three images on this post featuring four Mario themed sweats randomly taken from Aliexpress), on a market stall or in a high street retailer à la Kiabi. Well, with only one difference - the eye-watering prices. A long sleeved top will set you back around 500 Euros; T-shirts cost roughly 150 Euros, while a hooded sweat featuring Bowser is priced around 400 Euros, though the most expensive pieces are the bags with a rucksack reaching 645 Euros (well, guess the license from Nintendo was really expensive...).
You seriously wonder why - if they haven't got any ideas - Scott & Co. do not open a drawer at Moschino and start copying original designs such as the iconic and ironic "Survival Jacket" (Spring/Summer 1991).
Now part of the FIDM Museum collection, this khaki twill mock military jacket featured a series of pockets for all the necessary tools to survive in the "fashion trenches", including (among the others...) mirror, lipstick, mascara, powder compact, wallet and credit cards.
Moschino's Spring/Summer 1991 collection also featured a belt printed with the pun, "Waist of Money" and "Stop the Fashion System". The FIDM Museum explains on its blog "The Survival Jacket is just humorous enough to diffuse what would otherwise be a sharp critique of the fashion system," pointing out how the late Franco Moschino prompted people to consider the role of fashion consumption within a broader social context.
We are definitely missing some kind of healthy anti-fashion messages in the current fashion industry: in 1989 Moschino stated that fashion in his opinion killed people; he reinforced the concept a few years later when, in a 1993 interview, he prophetically declared: "Fashion is a product of fascism...I really think fashion will not be important in the future. We'll have clothes, but we won't have fashion."
The Moschino/Super Mario collaboration proves Franco Moschino was right, but it has also strengthened my impression that kids know what's fashionable better than many trendsetting agencies out there. Yet, to get a genuine opinion from a consumer, I showed some of the pieces to my eldest nephew. He looked at the site, then checked the price of the rucksack and simply commented "Guess it should cost 40 Euros". Ah, kids the only voice of truth left in this bloody fu**ing fashion world.
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