To celebrate Moschino’s 40th anniversary, four celebrated stylists were asked to create a collection inspired by Franco Moschino’s iconic designs from 1983 – when the designer’s flair and creative genius broke through the monotony of Milanese fashion with its innovative and unusual clothes – and 1993., the year of the last fashion show before his untimely death.
Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Katie Grand, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson and Lucia Liu are the creative souls tasked with curating the collection, following the departure of former creative director Jeremy Scott. In the front row, an attentive and alert Alberta Ferretti – founder of the Aeffe group, the brand’s owner – sat and enjoyed the fruits of their labor, on such an important anniversary and with a fitting tribute to the brand’s founder.
For the show, titled ’40 years of love’ each stylist brought 10 personal interpretations of Moschino’s unmistakable style. “There is no freedom without chaos” was Franco Moschino’s favorite statement. And that is what Cerf de Dudzeele, Grand, Karefa-Johnson and Liu faithfully did with their show during Milan Fashion Week. The presentation was divided into four acts, each with its own atmosphere, soundtrack, models and finale. All original, all different, but all with a common denominator: fun and surprise as in the best tradition when dealing with a brand like Moschino.
The first to open the enormous red curtain of the set design was the legendary Cerf de Dudzeele, formerly the powerful fashion director of the US. Fashion and is considered a pioneer in bringing street style to fashion magazines. Her job was to reinterpret Franco’s most beloved classic garments, as she was the only one of the four to collaborate with him. Cerf de Dudzeele opted for suits, monochromatic total black or total white looks, pearls on jeans, crystal tops, mini skirts and headscarves à la Erykah Badu.
The second to take the stage was Karefa-Johnson, a powerful advocate for inclusive fashion. She only sent black models down the catwalk, wearing her reinterpretations of early 1990s garments. As she explained, it was a nostalgic moment for her with items like the brand’s iconic shopping bag, cowboy hats, maxi earrings, polka dots, necklaces and crochet pieces. The third, Liu, former styling director of Harper’s Bazaar China, sent a T-shirt with the words “Protect me from the fashion system” and to close the section a pink evening dress decorated with bows and roses with a gray top with the words “There is no such thing as good taste.”
The fourth major London-based founder of Perfect magazine, adopted from the past the use of slogans that the founder liked to draw on clothing to convey important messages. Grand came up with one, ‘Loud Luxury’, brought to the catwalk by dancers choreographed by Wayne McGregor of Britain’s The Royal Ballet.
A fifth act was entrusted to Laura Marzadori, first violin of the Teatro alla Scala, who, in her elegant black evening dress, played Gloria Gaynor’s masterpiece ‘I Am What I Am’, a manifesto of freedom and many civil rights struggles, a song loved by Franco Moschino, who used it for the finale of the autumn-winter fashion show of 1986.
The show’s finale recognized the struggles and charitable campaigns the house’s founder supported throughout his artistic journey. T-shirts with non-conformist slogans have always been a central part of his philosophy, with raising awareness of AIDS a constant commitment. That’s why the grand finale was dedicated to a limited edition T-shirt with the text: “Lend me – Carry me – Hug me – Love me.” One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.