Franco Moschino was one of fashion’s great wits — a wit he wrapped in irony and outrageous runway high jinks. For the 30th anniversary of his house, the company wanted to stage a celebration worthy of his powerful personality. It started with the show’s title, “For Fashion Victims Only,” a playful homage to the sense of humor that often took aim at some of fashion’s most hallowed tenants.
After a film about Moschino focusing on his surrealist sensibility and his love of Italy, the show kicked off with an additional tribute: his four original muses — Pat Cleveland, Violetta Sanchez, Amalia and Gisele Zelauy — vamping their way down the runway in some of Moschino’s most iconic archival looks: the long dirndl dress with a whimsical cow motif, the black coat defined by teddy bears gracing the shoulder line, the Italian flag top with a floor-length black skirt and the gown made entirely of garbage bags.
The new pieces that followed demonstrated that the company hasn’t lost that whimsical punch, though now toned down in the interest of commercial appeal (save for the Moschino shopping bag-cum-dress and the airplane headpiece). Creative director Rossella Jardini, who was Moschino’s right hand, worked a good girl-bad girl contrast with panache. Models came out in pairs working appropriately contrasting looks — angelic vs. devilish, preppy vs. rock chick. Along the way, Jardini referenced Moschino himself. Signature gold letter belts, Eighties favorites, spelled out “Good Girl” and “Bad Girl.” Precise tailoring was equally fun — a chic tuxedo jacket, for example, came with a rabbitlike pompon detail in the back.
The campy finale featured Gloria Gaynor belting out “I Am What I Am” from “La Cage aux Folles.” It was Moschino’s favorite song, and all these years later remains not a bad anthem for fashion overall.