Moschino AW21 won’t fail to put a smile on your face

Jeremy Scott is not just a fashion designer now — he’s a director, too. His latest film for Moschino AW21 is a cheeky celebration of bygone glamour.

by Osman Ahmed
25 February 2021, 2:29pm

Lights! Camera! Action! There’s nothing like the glamour of Old Hollywood to see us through the darkest doldrums, dressed-up glamour to give us a much-needed dose of optimism. For AW21, Jeremy Scott is one of the few designers who continued to rethink the way he presents his collection, creating heartfelt fashion films rather than just pre-recording an audience-less catwalk spectacle, as has become standard in the Covid era.

His latest directorial vignette for Moschino AW21 is a nod to Old Hollywood and bygone ladies of leisure (not loungewear), brought to life by a starry cast of supermodels. Titled ‘Jungle Red’, the short film nods to the 1939 movie The Women, which opens with a scene set in an expensive Manhattan salon, where society ladies go to get the newest nail colour of the Moschino film’s name. This being Jeremy and Moschino, however, the film is a campy parade of kitsch couture, an irreverent parody of salon-style shows of the 40s and 50s.

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To synopsise — although, really, you ought to watch the film below — ‘Jungle Red’ follows a presentation of the latest fashions to a group of well-coiffed women including Winnie Harlow and Dita von Teese, who look on as Maye Musk introduces thematic vignettes that riff on town and country; city-slicker pinstripe tailoring (Jeremy wanted to rewrite the ladies as businesswomen, too) and ironic prairie dresses with cow prints and potato sack dresses, set against a bucolic blue-sky backdrop. There’s also a day out at the museum, where expressionist brushstrokes come to life as painterly gowns (very Night at the Museum) as Carolyn Murphy, Karen Elson and Liberty Ross spectate in biker-inspired tweed suits. Next, a safari extravaganza with animal prints, Shalom Harlow writhing as a sequined leopard, and Indira Scott in a khaki safari suit with pockets for makeup brushes, combs, compacts, lipsticks and tweezers (it’s a nod to Franco Moschino SS’91 ‘Survival jacket), ideal for the urban jungles of Fifth Avenue.

“My goal is to deliver a smile, some joy, some escapism,” beamed Jeremy in a preview. “Happiness is what we need right now!” It’s not lost on him that throughout the last century’s darkest moments, Hollywood has shined even brighter, prescribing the world glitter and sequins for its woes. Much like last season, where Jeremy staged a marionette show in lieu of a physical one, this season sees Moschino nod to the mid-century era of haute couture, a period regarded as its Golden Age. The whittled waists and full skirts of that era, and the devotion to dressed-up formality, seems like an antidote to fashion’s current fixation with comfort and homebound loungewear. For Jeremy, glamour is a comforting balm, a warm hug that ensures you that everything will be okay. “There’s the perfection of glamour, a complete, utter lush fantasy that you can get lost in and it’s just intoxicating,” he continued. “It makes you forget about your troubles for a little while.”

Always one to see the silver lining, the pandemic has galvanised Jeremy to rethink the ways that fashion can be shown, and he’s the first to admit that once things return to normal — whatever that means — his way of working will have been changed forever. He says that directing films is now one of his goals, and he hopes to one day make a feature-length movie alongside designing for Moschino. In the case of ‘Jungle Red’, conceptualising the film informed the way he designed the collection, creating costumes as plot devices rather than just merely clothes. “I’ve wanted to do that for decades,” he explained. “It was something that has been difficult for me to control in a real-life show, and as a concept, I’ve picked it up and put it down so many times.”

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But beyond the glamour of Old Hollywood and the luscious visuals that Jeremy conveyed with the film, what makes it so joyous is its self-aware irreverence. Jeremy is not a designer who takes himself too seriously. He’s not snobby, and his trademark irony always stems from a sincere love of fashion. Case in point: the film ends with a theatrical display of 40s-style eveningwear, opera gloves turned into a stole on Precious Lee, clutch bags turned into Barbie-pink satin boots, baseball cap and gown on Stella Maxwell, and to finish, Dita von Teese in a cheeky heart-strewn red satin gown. As in, literally cheeky. The film closes with her turning to reveal a heart-shaped cut-out on her backside. See, we told you it wouldn’t fail to put a smile on your face.

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Jeremy Scott
Dita Von Tesse
winnie harlow