Moschino paints a Spanish pastiche

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Robin Driver
today Sep 20, 2019
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The attendees of Moschino's latest runway show should really have been able to guess its inspiration from their invitations: giant card paint palettes and brushes signed with the brand's name. For Spring/Summer 2020, the Italian label took a psychedelic trip to Pablo Picasso's Spain, mixing sultry music, bullfights and frenzied flamenco, with painting, especially cubism, serving as a common theme throughout. 

Moschino - Spring-Summer 2020 - Womenswear - Milan - PixelFormula

The models stepped out of an enormous golden pasteboard frame and made their way down the white canvas-like catwalk to the sustained rhythm of castanets. They were dressed in vivid outfits decorated with broad, colorful brushstrokes that even looked to have splashed paint into their hair. 

Playing the artist, Jeremy Scott started things off more reservedly, sketching out stripes with a seemingly uncertain and trembling hand, before drawing over these with child-like naïf flowers. He quickly gained confidence, though, having a field day with wacky shapes, an explosive color palette and extravagantly oversized volumes. Soon the designer's cubist inspirations began to manifest themselves in silhouettes that featured asymmetrical, removable sleeves or giant legs of mutton, which rose up stiffly like wings from ballooning shoulders, often paired with large puffed skirts. 

On one black sheath dress, one could make out something like a surrealist drawing that could have been sketched out in white chalk by Jean Cocteau, or maybe even by Picasso himself. Elsewhere, someone had deftly used a cubist style to draw the female form onto white suits. 
Here and there, dresses were decorated with the deconstructed faces or exaggerated hands so dear to Picasso. Indeed, the references to the Spanish painter were everywhere, from his Blue Period Harlequin, echoed in a jumpsuit decorated with sequined pink and blue diamonds, to bicorne hats, via bull heads and his famous disassembled guitars, which were transformed into original little mini-dresses. 

The creative director's kitsch sensibility was never far from the surface and took center stage in pieces such as a paint-pot handbag and a life-size picture-frame dress that looked more than a little difficult to wear. 

On top of this there were multiple references to a picture-postcard vision of Spain, collaged together from folkloric clichés. The classic frilly red and black polka dot flamenco dress was there, as was the bullfighter's traje de luces, reinterpreted in flamboyant suits with sequin-dusted shoulder pads and hems, or in red outfits combining jackets with cycling shorts, richly decorated with gold paint. 

Moschino - Spring-Summer 2020 - Womenswear - Milan - PixelFormula

The matador's red muleta was transformed into a short silk dress worn over tight blue leggings, while the opulence of the Spanish aristocracy was present in the collection's accessories, such as a series of solid gold-effect jewel-encrusted bracelets, worn in sets of five on each arm, or in the rows of golden necklaces printed onto the dark top of a regal dress. 

For the finale, out came a bride with a tulle veil and a short, draped dress, decorated with a large bow and a flock of appliqué doves (another reference to Picasso). As she made her way majestically down the catwalk, she was accompanied by the famous aria from Bizet's Carmen, "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle."

With his latest runway show, Jeremy Scott signed off on yet another quirky collection and made reference to both Moschino's history and his own work. After all, the brand's former creative director Rosella Jardini looked to Spain for inspiration for Spring 2012, while Scott himself was already trying his hand at scribbling over clothes not so very long ago at all – which is to say Spring 2019.

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