Milan Fashion Week was served up a gem with Jeremy Scott’s Moschino spring/summer 2017 ready-to-wear collection. The collection was centered around a truly unique, larger than life theme. Without knowing what we were getting into, the collection began rather rockily; the outline of a mostly naked female body form was displayed in full-size on the front of a simple maxi dress modeled by none other than Gigi Hadid. The detail seemed strange, but everything soon made sense, once the next looks hit the catwalk. It soon became blatant that the clothes were recreations of paper dolls.
I suppose we should have seen a doll theme coming, what with Moschino’s Barbie themes in recent seasons. The label created a Barbie-inspired collection of over the top clothes back for the spring 2015 collection, and then last October it teamed up with Mattel to create a realistic line of clothes for Barbie dolls. We’re used to seeing this idea of doll culture coming through in Scott’s work, so once this collection’s intent became clear, it really wasn’t surprising. Yet, the runway effect was striking.
But the paper doll imagery wasn’t just a play on design. It was also created to address the extent to which our culture is overly immersed in smartphone media. “Before too long, this face-to-face conversation is going to feel awkward,” Scott said in a Facebook Live video he posted after his show walked.
If that’s not enough irony, each seat in the front row had a gift bag containing a Moschino iPhone 6 cover. In other words, the designer was using this flat medium to show that the new generations are so used to seeing the world through the flat, digital lens of smartphones.
Flat design like this isn’t exactly a new concept in fashion, but the extent to which he took the imagery was. Adding in the white tabs made the garments true, life-size recreations of the classic paper dolls – which predated Barbie. But there was just something about seeing the “dolls” on this scale that perfectly balanced nostalgia and modern fashion.
Beginning the Moschino spring 2017 collection with the bare form (with the addition of a bra and panties, naturally), the show progressed to include a basic skirt with a gold Moschino chain pared with the same bra from the first ensemble; the next look added a classic red blouse.
And on from there, we were shown the progression of the looks, much like the experience of changing the clothes of paper dolls – a process which could inexplicably be fun for hours on end!
Photos courtesy of Vogue