While probably unfamiliar to the TikTok generation, for a certain set, 1939 film “The Women” is still a reference for fashion fantasy, thanks to its campy plot and Technicolor onscreen runway sequence, which featured looks by Hollywood costume legend Gilbert Adrian.
“I feel like I have known it since birth,” said Moschino designer Jeremy Scott, who was ahead of his time in the merging of fashion and film, going back to “Starring,” a spoof on “Dynasty” he presented for his namesake label during New York Fashion Week in 2000. (Fun fact: Amber Valletta appeared in that film and this season’s Moschino film, too.)
Although “The Women” was progressive for its time in that it was based on a play written by a woman (Clare Booth Luce), with a screenplay by a woman (Anita Loos) and starred only women (Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer and Rosalind Russell among them), it was still a throwback in its limited depiction of women — blamed when their husbands strayed, clawing at each other over men, gossiping at the beauty salon and so on.
Scott wanted to “flip the switch” on the Hollywood classic, he said, and while a reexamination of the film that has inspired so many in fashion is certainly interesting for these feminist times, this wasn’t really it. The campy collection was still a throwback in its constricting view of female glamour — perfect “Jungle Red” nails, peplums, wiggle skirts and all.
Scott enlisted big name models including Hailey Bieber, Maye Musk, Karen Elson, Shalom Harlow, Miranda Kerr and more for his fashion show within a show, featuring vignettes of business looks, country looks, jungle safari looks and a cheeky burlesque look, courtesy of Dita Von Teese.
He referenced the famously punny house patriarch Franco Moschino in country cow and cloud prints and jungle safari looks designed with specialized pockets for beauty supplies; a campy cocktail dress with a pink sequin flamingo, Bjork-style, on the front; lady suits and poufy cocktail gowns in silk printed to look like potato sacks. (Get it?)
Pinstripe suiting felt the most relevant (particularly an upside-down blazer as bustier with bustle look) to today’s female power protagonists, like American poet Amanda Gorman, who wore a Moschino floral embossed spring coat dress during her Super Bowl appearance. Still, compared to last season’s couture marionette extravaganza, this outing felt less inspired, less focused and ironically, less real.