Looking at a Moschino creation and not guessing right away who designed it it’s quite impossible: who else would create a hat using teddy bears, for example? And who would take Minnie Mouse on the catwalk or propose tie-made skirts?
Ironic, funny, provocative: three adjectives to sum up Moschino’s style. The company’s founder, Franco Moschino, was born in 1950 and when he was young he didn’t dream to become a fashion designer. Actually he wanted to become a painter and studied at Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, but he needed a job to pay his studies.
A financial reason, though, brought him to start working as a clothing designer for some Italian ateliers like Cadette , that was part of the Versace group. There he underwent the fascination of clothing creation and decided to change his plans: he was no longer going to be a painter, but a fashion designer who was to acquire success and admiration in a few years.
In 1983 Moschino Couture, his first line, came to light with prêt a porter collections that included casual clothing and shoes, while in 1985 Moschino launched his Cheap and Chic line for men and women, which proposed affordable yet high quality items to make fashion closer to common people. In the following years the brand presented his Moschino Jeans line, but also its eyewear, jewellery, accessories and perfumes collections.
Moschino impressed a conspicuous audience with a young and fresh style that mixed refined tailoring techniques and high quality fabrics with an original and ironic design that famous people too have proved to love, Madonna included.
Anyone who has ever seen “The Nanny”, the famous tv serie whose protagonist was Fran Drescher, can immediately understand what we are talking about. Fran the nanny, indeed, in the show used to wear super colored and peculiar outfits, most of which were precisely Moschino’s.
The main feature that makes Moschino creations so easily recognizable is the addition of funny and mocking details to classic items: strange buttons, coloured pins, odd decorations like little teddy bears and so on. This also happens with elegant dresses, that always have something funny in it, or with classic tailleurs whose bottons could even be pinwheels.
This apparently nonsense style is actually a very refined one, as it inspires to classical forms but minimizes their seriousness with some elements that make them less strict.
Bags, denim, dresses, waistcoats: all of them have become canvas on which Moschino have played with super colored decorations, printing on them the brand logo or some cartoon hero, but also adding other kinds of crazy details and printed patterns.
Basically, Moschino likes to play with fashion, reinventing it and even fooling haute couture expressions, that sometimes people take too seriously. And he achieves his goal making use of irony, expressed in the brilliant colors and foolish garnishments that have made him one of the best known and acclaimed Italian fashion designers.
Moschino’s crazy style reflects not only in clothing, but also in accessories and in the playful perfumes the brand launched. Cheap and chic, for example, is inspired to Olive Oyl, while the more recent Moschino fresh has a package that resembles a cleanser.
When Franco Moschino died in 1994, his assistant Rossella Jardini became the new creative director of the company and continued expanding the activity abroad with shop openings in several countries.
Since 2013 the maison’s new creative director is Jeremy Scott, whose collections are inspired to fast food and cartoons such as Spongebob and maintain the same irreverent style that has always characterized the fashion house.