A dark cavernous tunnel opened to a scuffed, wooden runway, and a new era of Moschino emerged. The usually bright and preppy brand had a complete makeover for their F/W 2023 Ready-to-Wear debut. For this collection, Jeremy Scott took a punk turn, which is particularly shocking in the wake of their vibrant and playful Spring 2023 show. In this show, Scott infused elements of punk with typical Moschino styles. The main inspiration behind these designs was Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory and the "distorted times" we are currently living in.
The 1931 painting that inspired the collection features clocks melting under the sun, implying a distortion of time and space. At the time of this creation, Dali was said to have created "self-induced psychotic hallucinations" which were reflected in his art. With this as the inspiration, it was obvious that this collection would at the very least be fascinating.
Emerging from the darkness are models with impossibly tall, spiky, feather-esque hairstyles wearing seemingly liquified versions of typical Moschino uniforms. In an almost disorienting way, the asymmetrical hemlines and necklines of these pieces bare a striking resemblance to the melting clocks of the painting. Every detail, from soaring hair to melted shoes, was infused with both punk and the Dali inspiration. The general lack of color and boisterousness shows such a stark contrast to what Moschino usually does and a convergence with punk themes. The pearl and gold buttons of these ensembles give the illusion that they were left out in the sun to melt, and even the necklaces and earrings are dripping down the models' bodies.
In a shocking and welcome overturn of monotonous black-and-white, there is a sudden introduction of vibrant pinks and purples. There is a continuation of previous punk themes, such as the fishnet hosiery and spiked hair. Despite these similarities, these looks present a newer and fresher take on punk fashion. Rich colors and clean hemlines give the illusion of regal glamor. Instead of the melting buttons and dripping accessories seen in the prior looks, Scott introduces elements of heart-shaped buttons and gaudy brooches. But with this, there is also a debut of spiky chokers and belts, a reminder that just because something looks clean-cut and regal doesn't mean it is just that. There is an air of modesty and business-casual in the long, closed coat and peplum, but this is counteracted by plunging necklines and open blazers.
At the top of the show, Scott told his audience, “Things that seem familiar aren’t familiar. I mean, isn’t it hard to figure things out?” This sentiment has never been more obvious. Just when audiences become familiar with the formula of the earlier pieces, there is a switch to something brand new.
The next, and perhaps most exciting, act features a more glamorous version of punk and a complete detour from the prior designs. With this complete departure from the previous aesthetics, the pieces become increasingly more interesting. Upon first glance, it is hard to make sense of these designs.
Leather jackets and cutoff bottoms are accompanied by purple trains and brooches. Long, pink dresses with sweetheart necklines are joined with fishnets and spiky bracelets. While longer gowns create the illusion of glamor and femininity, the punk imagery counteracts that. The distorted nature of the show is brought to the forefront by mixing different design elements to present a new version of punk. It is glorious proof that punk and glamor can co-exist.
It is not everyday that you see a woman with sky-high hair spikes wearing a glittery pastel gown, but it somehow works. Fishnet gloves are traded off for jeweled ones, and the otherwise constant black shoes are substituted for pastel purple ones. The only obvious reminders of punk in this look are the matching hair spikes and a small glimpse of black hosiery. This contrast between punk and regal is what makes this design so interesting. This collection does not strive to be understandable, but the complexity is what makes it so captivating.
Upon first glance, models walking onto the runway with such exaggerated hairstyles can seem almost ridiculous. The punk inspiration was clear, but it is easy to get lost in the drama and shock value of something like that. As the show went on, it became clear that Moschino was not using this as a crutch. These pieces portrayed a dramatic and distorted version of clothing, but it was done in a way that still produced the most enthralling results. There was not an ounce of ordinariness in this collection. At any point, it seemed like the show might become stagnant, there was an instant shift to something new. It is hard to define such a complex collection, but that is exactly what Moschino set out to achieve.