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Moschino SS17 womenswear Milan Dazed backstage
Backstage at Moschino SS17Photography Martina Ferrara

Moschino twist appearances and reality with IRL dolls

Jeremy Scott makes a comment on the facades we keep up in a collection featuring pills and paper dolls

He may have designed his own Barbie, but for last night’s Moschino show, Jeremy Scott turned his attention to a more two-dimensional doll. Tapping into a nostalgia surely shared by many fashion fans, he debuted a hyperreal tribute to the humble paper doll, the kind you cut out clothes for, hooking them on with foldable tabs. But despite the childlike fun, this collection had more to it than first met the eye.

THE INVITE WAS A BOX OF PILLS

Well, sort of. Jeremy Scott is known for his weird and wonderful Moschino invites – we’ve had yellow plastic hardhats, Barbie combs, even Y-fronts. This season the ticket came as a prescription, written out by none other than Dr Moschino, and affixed around a bright orange pill bottle helpfully stamped with dosage instructions (Moschino Couture 30mg – take two tablets by mouth once daily, if you were wondering). As for the pills themselves? Totally edible, thankfully. Still – it was the first hint that there might be something a little more sinister under the surface of Scott’s usually fun and frivolous fashion.

THE THEME WAS VALLEY OF THE DOLLS

Thankfully, despite the pill bottle, the audience wasn’t subject to a Zoolander-esque psychiatric ward fashion moment. Instead, Scott was a bit more subtle than that. Referencing Jacqueline Susann’s scandalous 1966 bestseller Valley of the Dolls, where a woman’s reliance on prescription medication is likened to the way children cling to their dolls, Scott presented a collection that took inspiration from those very toys. Models wore clothes that came complete with tabs, like lifesized paper dolls with interchangeable outfits, and carried accessories which looked like they had been cut from paper. In one particularly meta move, one look came with images of cutout clothes on it. Fashion is often at its best when it’s able to examine and comment on itself – what’s more self-aware than turning models into IRL dolls?

“...many looks were blank on the back – a clever gesture that reminded you that the surface level isn’t always to be trusted, that the image of ourselves we project may just be that: a projection.”

THE ENTIRE SHOW WAS A TRICK OF THE EYE

Fashion is an industry built on appearances, and appearances can, as we all know, be deceptive. The idea of things not being quite as they seem was a key motif of the collection, where trick-of-the-eye trompe l’oeil effects reigned supreme. Dazed cover girl Gigi Hadid opened the show in a dress printed with an underwear-clad body on it (yes, like those undying tourist t-shirts you get on holiday) followed by looks which came printed with dresses, trousers, belts, jewellery and even fake pleats. The infamous Moschino Teddy dress got its own 2D rendering, while things took a turn towards the Stepford Wives / debutante ball with a series of gowns.

Jeremy Scott is beloved for his all-out embrace of the camp and over-the-top, but this show had a welcome dash of a darkness to it, drawing attention to the façade and fakery of fashion. In a welcome twist, many looks were blank on the back – a clever gesture that reminded you that the surface level isn’t always to be trusted, that the image of ourselves we project may just be that: a projection.

A NEW KIND OF CAPSULE COLLECTION

See now, buy now may have really kicked off this season, but it’s old news when it comes to Jeremy Scott’s Moschino. They’ve been putting out instantly shoppable collections since he took over the brand, and to great success. This season’s capsule played on the double meaning of the word, offering up prescription and pill-decorated sweaters, backpacks and more, already available from moschino.com.