jeremy scott is moschino's king of pop in pitti
Ah, Florence! It's the city that turned merchants into lords, where dynasties became designers, and where Kimye had their royal wedding. On a visit in 1817, the French author Stendhal was so overcome with the beauty of Florence that he was seen fainting around town in psychosomatic blackouts that would later be known as The Stendhal Syndrome. "I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations," he wrote. Surrounded by the magnificently embellished walls of Palazzo Corsini, Jeremy Scott was still standing after his Moschino show, which headlined Pitti Immagine this season and saw the American designer embrace the majesty of Florence to heights that would have made Stendhal pass out in his front row seat all over again.
"I was already musing about it, and when the idea of showing in Florence came about it made perfect sense to do this special show here with this mood and just go full tilt," Scott said backstage, a table of costume crowns behind him and appropriately sunglass-clad as if those heavenly Corsini ceilings were blinding him. He turned to the most sophisticated century of all time, the 1700s with their powdered wigs, shirt ruffles, and tailcoats, covered his garments in heavy, regal embroidery and fused the look with elements of the most flamboyant uniform in sports, that of motocross. "I just wanted it to be very decadent. Like, if it was perfume, it would be this intoxicating"—he gasped—"with all the riches of the fabrics and the layers of it, the patchwork and all that."
Jeremy Scott going all out in a Moschino show is hardly a surprise, but applied to the splendor of 18th century court attire, his excessive approach took on an entirely different character, which was completely summed up by that gasp he let out backstage. If Scott's previous shows for Moschino on both the men's and women's sides have been thrilling, what with all their pop cultural consumer culture fun, the exquisiteness of the baroque wardrobe made this one closer to breathtaking—albeit with the cartoonish elements of Scott's fun-filled universe firmly in charge. "I wanted to do something that was uniquely mine, so I wanted to do the cartoon element as that thin outline, even if you don't really get the whole thing on it. It's just to get that nuance. Of course it can't be from the 1700s or the 60s look of the 1700s, or the 70s looking at the 60s. It is today. It's mine. It belongs to me," he said.
Was the show a plea for a return of that majesty in fashion, connected with the couture heyday of John Galliano? "I've always been one for a bit of pageantry," Scott smiled, "so I guess you're asking the wrong or the right person depending on which answer you want." Of course it was, and while the new world of Moschino is in a different galaxy to Galliano's Dior, the majesty portrayed came with that same dreamy message of living life in your own fantasy world. Put through Scott's machine of childlike naivety and unapologetic thirst for fun, the collection used his brand of honesty in a different way to past shows because the 18th century wardrobe, contrary to McDonald's or Barbie or the Looney Tunes, tackled a perhaps antiquated but very much real way of life where people's desire for beauty and magnificence created a kind of dream world so long-lost today.
As for the motocross elements, Scott - like any great king - said they were a gift bestowed from himself, upon himself. "I always approach menswear really selfishly: things that are missing from my closet, things I'd like to have. And I've always loved those motocross kind of patchy things, especially the cycling ones. They're skin-tight. They're for, like, people who are athletes with zero percent body fat, and I'm like, I'm not gonna wear that. So I wanted something that could give me that mood and give me the way I would want to have the clothes fit me. So I thought, what if I took it and put it on tails and jackets and button-down shirts and things that would be totally cool for me to wear, and not make me feel uncomfortable when I lean or something?" And just like that, biker baroque was born.