Without Jeremy Scott’s Cliff’s Notes, his fall Moschino show appeared to be a Space Age retro-future frolic consisting of a parade of Jackie Kennedys from “Star Trek”’s Andoria, planet of the blue people. The models strode out through spacey tunnels in neat Mod skirt suits, shifts and dress coats in Pop colors and sugary pastels — orange, turquoise and pink. Some girls had their skin painted to match; all of them had hair perfectly bobbed and flipped under a pillbox hat, just as Jackie would have done.
This wasn’t just any old kitschy time capsule collection — it was tied to a narrative Scott concocted out of his obsession with conspiracy theories. Stop him if you’ve heard this one before: “Marilyn [Monroe] was told by JFK there were aliens and she decided that she wanted to come forward with this publicly. The government killed her and then had to kill him for sharing this information, OK?” Scott shared backstage pre-show, stopping to issue the disclaimer that these theories already exist and live online. But he editorialized a bit in the name of fashion. “I take it one step further and ask, ‘Was Jackie an alien? Was she an android? How did she endure the pain and grieving of the assassination? All the ridicule about her being such a haute, snotty Bouvier too good to be an American icon? How did she do that if she was actually human?’”
His Jackies were reimagined as perfect Pop aliens and androids. If they were human, they were probably placating themselves with pills, sugar or shopping, an idea rendered via collaborative prints with Australian artist Ben Frost, who created collages of comic strip images of an anguished women’s face, medication packaging and cartoons, including the Trix Rabbit. Unlike the sugary cereal, Frost’s prints were not for kids — they offered something for art afficionados to sink their teeth into. For the finale, Scott retired Jackie in favor of Marilyn colliding her iconic evening looks with sleek spacey sequined look for hybrid gowns that were part throwback bombshell, part modern red-carpet siren.
Watching the show while knowing Scott’s wackadoo conspiracy theory backstory made it all the more amusing, but strip that away and the collection was one of his least farfetched. The silhouettes were quite commercial by his standards and the finale was relatively subdued compared with past seasons. That’s not to say it wasn’t fun and clever, but competition was stiff in the outlandish-show department today, and Scott’s Jackies and Marilyns weren’t carrying their own heads.